Book Review: Numbed! by David Lubar

Numbed! by David Lubar is a follow up book to Punished, but you do not have to have read the first book to thoroughly enjoy this one. Logan and Benedict are good friends, but Benedict has a habit of getting them into trouble. When their class takes a trip to a math museum Benedict is sure it will be boring, while Logan is just hoping to keep them both out of trouble. When a trip past the allowed boundaries led the pair to a robot and its creator an unfortunate incident leaves them reeling before the beat a hasty retreat. They quickly discover that they have been 'Numbed' and cannot do even basic math. The pair discover just how important math is in day to day life and set off on a mission to regain their math skills, preferably before the next math test.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a math girl. I can handle the basics and rock a tough word problem, but I rarely seek out extra math work. Numbed does a good job of proving how important the basics are, and how hard it is to buy anything, divvy things up evenly, or do much of anything with out an understanding of mathematics.  I found the message of math's import to be a little heavy handed at times, but that might have been me. I really go into some of the math challenges and puzzles that Logan and Benedict had to solve in order to regain their skills in math, and the fact that some of the math was broken up so that it took the boys more than one simple test to solve the larger problem. I liked the boys, and felt like there are two quite like them in most schools. I also felt that most of the adults were well described and realistic- aside from the robot's creator that did not seem concerned by the boys wondering into a restricted area or leaving them alone with his invention.

I would recommend Numbed to readers that love math, are indifferent, or have a decided dislike of the discipline. Numbed is a book that just might have your young readers playing math games when they finish reading. The characters are relatable and the math approached in a way that makes it fun and understandable. This might be just the book for a reluctant math homework doer in your house.
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