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The Unknowns : A Math Mystery
by Benedict Carey


Overview - In a trailer park called Adjacent, next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first Lady Di and her best friend, Tom Jones, barely notice the disappearances--until their beloved math tutor, Mrs.  Read more...

 
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More About The Unknowns by Benedict Carey
 
 
 
Overview
In a trailer park called Adjacent, next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first Lady Di and her best friend, Tom Jones, barely notice the disappearances--until their beloved math tutor, Mrs. Clarke, is abducted, too. Mrs. Clarke has left them clues in the form of math equations that lead them all over the trailer park, through hidden tunnels under "Mount Trashmore," and into the Folsom Energy Plant itself, where Lady Di and Tom Jones and a gang of other misfits uncover the sordid truth about what's really happening there. F&P level: Y

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780810979918
  • ISBN-10: 0810979918
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publish Date: April 2009
  • Page Count: 272
  • Reading Level: Ages 8-12
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 132.
  • Review Date: 2009-04-27
  • Reviewer: Staff

This first novel's promising premise—Carey (a New York Times science reporter) uses mathematical equations and theorems as clues to a mystery—sinks under the weight of burdensome plotting and characters' hypothesizing. Spearheading the sleuthing are Di and Tom, seventh-grade misfits determined to find Mrs. Clarke, a kindly neighbor who helps them with their math homework, after she vanishes. The kids live in a bleak trailer park located beside an underground nuclear plant, made all the more unsavory by the nearby dump, Mt. Trashmore, “an entire rotting universe, reeking like sugary vomit.” Deciphering notations left by Mrs. Clarke, the kids draw a map that leads them to underground tunnels, which they suspect hold the key to the woman's disappearance. The maps—simple diagrams that grow as information is uncovered—help elucidate their discoveries, yet digressions and a steady stream of data (“The Trashmore entrance was eight hundred yards above the x-axis. But the tunnel angled inward one hundred yards for every four hundred it moved downward”) may dampen interest in what feels like an extended, if adventurous, story problem. Ages 10–up. (Apr.)

 
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