Book Review: 神奇酷數學 1-8 Murderous Maths

Age 7+ if advanced, age 9 by self if advanced in math as well as Chinese

Books links:

Box set 1-4 神奇酷數學 1-4

Box set 5-8 神奇酷數學 5-8

This set of books is the translated version of Murderous Math series. This set has no zhuyin to assist and the math is set for middle to upper elementary going into middle school math territory. It has some decimals, exponents, simple algebra and geometry and some trigonometry. My older one is in pre-algrbra at AOPS Academy so this was an easy read for her and she enjoyed it very much often times laughing while reading and letting me know the differences on how differently they taught math from AOPS or Beast Academy.

The set isn’t all upper elementary math. I would say it goes from easy to harder as it progresses starting with roman numerals and the concept of negative numbers. Perhaps a lower elementary leveled math student with great Chinese character recognition and reading comprehension could do the first few books.

Books 4+ start getting harder and with measurements and areas and ending the series with tougher exponents problems and trigonometry.

I would not use this to teach math but it’s for kids who love math and want to read a funny math book.

My younger one is doing Beast Academy 4th grade and she enjoys these too. However, I want to strongly emphasize that this is not for teaching math. Again, it’s just fun reading as the stories in there are pretty gruesome and entertaining. If you know the Horrible Science and Horrible Histories series, you will know what I am talking about.

Why did we read these? We don’t do math in Chinese because we are already very busy with our math curriculum and I didn’t want to do math problems in Chinese just for the sake of Chinese. We are often pressed for time to do other things. I find the math program we are in to be extra challenging already and no Chinese math program compares at this point. In addition, I don’t see ourselves needing to do the same problems in Chinese. Having said that, I love how my kids will learn the terms we use in English in Chinese so even if we do end up in math type conversations they won’t get lost as to what others are talking about. Therefore using it as a vocab reference and entertainment reading, I give this full marks!

I know many tiger moms will probably now try to make their first or second grader who has great Chinese character recognition to start this set and expect them to keep up and understand the math. My suggestion is to test the waters and not end up having them hate both math and Chinese 😂. However, for those kids that are amazing in math, you can give this one a try!

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