You know what arithmetic books look like. They are all pretty much alike. Using very few words, they give a couple of examples and then have the students do a hundred identical problems. Then they give another couple of examples and another hundred problems. And for students, arithmetic becomes as much fun as cleaning up their rooms, eating yams, or going to the dentist.

The books in the Life of Fred series take a different approach. Note that the subtitle on each book is “as serious as it needs to be”. Veteran math teacher, Stan Schmidt, has brought to life a character who will make math fun, relevant, and understandable. Don’t be surprised if your child who dreads math asks to do more at the end of a lesson. Each of the books tells a story—a story of one day in the life of a five-and-a-half-year-old boy. All of the math arises out of Fred’s life. Never again will students have to ask their perennial question: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?”

Don’t let the nontraditional method of teaching fool you. Each of these books contains more math than is normally taught at the college level. These are not skimpy. They offer solid preparation for SAT exams and upper-division mathematics. One of the reasons is that very few arithmetic books tell you the why of various math rules—they just say that “it’s a rule”. Fred will give you the reasoning behind the rules making the math much more meaningful and memorable.

In all of the books in the Life of Fred series, the emphasis is on how to learn by reading. Students of normal academic ability can learn mathematics from Fred without your tutoring the material though you’ll enjoy reading about Fred’s adventures as much as your student does. You can relax. As students progress through high school, college, and graduate school, they find that less and less is learned in the classroom lecture format. Increasingly, it’s the written word that does the teaching. Let the book do the math teaching.

These books are gloss-film laminated hardcovers with Smyth sewn binding. Fully indexed and illustrated. They are not workbooks to write in, and each book will be enjoyed by all your children (and grandchildren!)

Every aspect of advanced algebra pops in our hero's everyday life

* Romance! How to approach a good-looking passenger on the bus

* Cuisine! What pie you shouldn't order...unless you're rich

* Travel! Parts of Kansas you've never been to

* Fashion! Hairless anteriors and gold chains

* Music! Contains the piano music—newest hit from Rockin' Rita

All fun! Just open and enjoy.

Ratio, Proportion & Variation, Radical Equations, a 12-page History of Mathematics, Irrational and Imaginary Numbers, Logarithms (3 definitions), Exponential Equations, Four Standard Equations of the Line, Review of Beginning Algebra (exponents, rationalizing the denominator, significant digits, graphing by point-plotting, factoring, complex fractions, linear, fractional, quadratic, and radical equations), Systems of Equations (3 methods of solution), Conics, Graphing Inequalities in Two Variables, Functions, Linear Programming, Partial Fractions, Math Induction, Sequences, Series, Matrices, Permutations & Combinations.

The author recommends taking Advanced Algebra before Geometry. This book replaces both Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra and Fred's Home Companion: Advanced Algebra. This book has all the problems completely worked out, which wasn't true in the old books. And it costs less.