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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
There is nothing like learning you can perform magic to make learning math more fun! That’s exactly what Alexandria Grate discovers after falling out of a storage closet in school into a strange, new world and becoming a student of Archimedes in Libellus de Numeros: Magicae Mathematica Book 1 by Jim West. As a self-reliant young girl just getting ready to start middle school, Alex is used to thinking and doing for herself. Unfortunately, her head-strong nature does not fit in with this new world where a Council rules harshly to maintain their power. Together with her teacher, Archimedes, and several other students, Alex must learn all she can as quickly as possible to hold off an attack by two evil wizards who are intent on overthrowing the Council. Through her bond with her new mentor, she accepts being ‘lost’ in this seemingly ancient world and does everything possible to solve the problems that may lead to her returning home. Along the way, Alex learns much more about herself and getting along with other people, but will she be able to come up with enough magic to save the day?
Libellus de Numeros: Magicae Mathematica Book 1 by Jim West relates the adventures of Alex, Archimedes and the other inhabitants of a mystical land in an exciting and engaging tale. This story is excellent on many levels: terrific writing, great story line, smooth infusion of the love of learning math and Latin, and a heartwarming look at relationships between friends and family members. There is plenty of action, humor and soul searching as many of the characters realize there is more than one way to look at any issue, but that they don’t have to accept everything exactly as it is – thinking for yourself is just as important as following rules.