Jayden's Rescue by Vladimir Tumanov
Suggested Audience: middle elementary, upper elementary
(out of 5)
Jayden’s Rescue is a fun blend of adventure and mathematics. In this story, Alex loves reading and writing but has never found success or enjoyment in math. One day he finds and starts reading a mysterious fantasy novel and discovers that there’s magic not just in the story but also in the actual book itself, and Alex and his two friends launch into an adventure to save a queen from an evil sorcerer king. The queen is faced with a series of mathematical puzzles, and the three children realize that it’s up to them to solve them.
The reader is treated to a collection of these puzzles and is able to solve them alongside the children. To fully enjoy this, I recommend that the reader take a piece of paper and pencil and work on the puzzles as soon as they’re presented, then continue reading and check the answers against the ones from the children. The math in these puzzles includes patterns, basic arithmetic, exponents, and very basic variable equations.
Jayden’s Rescue seems to be the only children’s novel written by Tumanov, although I could easily see this being the first in a series. This is a quick and enjoyable read, and it’s certainly worth getting.