I bought this book for one reason: so that my daughter could have an extra copy at home because her backpack weighed 30 pounds. I'm selling it for the same reason: to save another child's back. After a year of using this book, here's my opinion: I HATE THIS BOOK. Here's why:
1. It will not prepare your child for high school. Heck, your kid may not even know what they are studying! Seriously, ask your eighth-grader what they are doing in math this week. "Growing, Growing Growing". What's that about? "Umm, snake populations, growing mold, cooling water, stuff like that." Hello, you're studying Expotential Equations. Next week your kid will study "Frogs, Fleas, and Painted Cubes". Whay can't you just call it Quadratic Equations? When their high school teacher asks if they've had quadratic equations, will these students reply "Was that the one with the frogs?" C'mon, these titles are for elementary school, not middle school. And what's with "Reflections, Connections, Extensions, Applications"...why not just have explanations, sample problems, and quizzes?
2. This book is the epitome of what's wrong with schools today: political correctness for it's own sake (even when irrelevant to the subject matter), attempting to entertain the student instead of teach (school is supposed to be a rigorous mental challenge, not "fun", just as teachers are supposed to be adult role models, not "friends"), the idea that students must have self-esteem before they can tackle math (instead of the reverse which is more logical: succeeding in math gives the student higher self-esteeem).
There is a superfluous photo or picture on almost every page; these are visual distractions, they do not enrich, rather they compete for students' focus. What is the purpose of a photo of a child diving into a swimming pool, next to a problem on how to measure the surface area of the pool? Is it necessary to show drawing of the painted tiles of the pool, in a problem about measuring the number of tiles for the pool?
Are the obligatory photos of politically correct kids supposed to foster "self-esteem"? My daughter and her friends immediately picked up on the pictures of the Black kid, the White kid, the Latino kid, the Asian kid...there are THREE photos of students in wheelchairs. Why?
This book tries so hard to be "relevant" and convince students that they NEED math to survive everyday life. Sorry kids but at this level, you should be over that and learning math for the sake of math: because it gives you satisfying mental challenges, and is beautiful in itself. A few of you will use it in Science/Technoolgy/Engineering/Math careers, and the rest of you will benefit from learning to think creatively.