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Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough? (2012)
Jim Benton

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

An extremely witty, funny look at the psychology of a second-grader who hates mathematics. As she records her thoughts in her diary, you see glimpses of daily issues which irk and stagger a young child. Throughout the book, her views on math, math teachers, and math problems create a punching bag which serious followers of mathematics may find stereotypical (but I found myself chuckling and laughing throughout). This book is one of a series of “Dear Dumb Diary” books.


“A kid who brags about his math skills is called an Algebrat”

“I, for one, believe that someone needs to sit Math down in a chair and say, ‘Math, it's time that you stopped creating issues like this for yourself. If you won't, we think that you should start solving your own problems, and not come crying to us whenever you want to know the solution to some imaginary drama that you've cooked up' {like the problem of a grape-hoarding Mark who has 100 grapes, 10 of which are taken away by Shawn and Math wants to know how many Mark has left}”

“Mr. Henzy, my math teacher, STILL seems interested in teaching me math, in spite of a great deal of evidence that it can't be done. It's kind of cute, like watching a baby try to reach something just outside his crib. A big, mean, boring baby. See, he gives me math problems, but I know that deep down I'm HIS math problem […] so he gives me bad grades, sends notes to my parents at home, who let me know over dinner that they are not happy about it.”

“This may sound like a negative attitude but it is hard to be positive about numbers after you have learned that half of them are negative themselves.”

“In my math problems, Lady Gaga drives her own bus”

“This is one of the great things with words — you get to learn new ones all the time. It doesn't happen that way with numbers” [followed by a cartoon about a mathematician who discovers a number between 7 and 8 and her colleagues going giddy]

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Works Similar to Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough?
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Arithmetic Town / Arithmetic by Todd McEwen
  2. Sir Cumference and the... by Cindy Neuschwander
  3. Rapunzel's Etymology of Zero by Katie May (Writer) / Seth Podowitz (Director)
  4. The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums by Matt Selman
  5. Odd Squad by Tim McKeon / Adam Peltzman
  6. Proof Geometric Construction Can Solve All Love Affairs by Takahashi Manbou (lyricist) / Ane Manbou (illustrator)
  7. Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) by Brian Hamill
  8. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  9. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
  10. Train Brains / The Runaway Train (Donald Duck) by Carl Barks
Ratings for Dear Dumb Diary Year Two #1: School. Hasn't This Gone on Long Enough?:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Children's Literature,
MotifMath Education,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)