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Solving for M

By: Jennifer Swender

Illustrator: Jennifer Naalchigar

When Mika starts fifth grade at the middle school, her neat life gets messy. Separated from old friends and starting new classes, Mika is far from her comfort zone. And math class is the most confusing of all, especially when her teacher Mr. Vann assigns math journals. Art in math? Who’s ever heard of such a thing?
But when challenges arise at home, Mika realizes there are no easy answers. Maybe, with some help from friends, family, and one unique teacher, a math journal can help her work out problems, and not just the math ones.
Debut author Jennifer Swender delivers poignant prose and illustrator Jennifer Naalchigar brings Mika’s journal to life in this perfect equation of honesty plus hope that adds up to a heartwarming coming-of-age story.

Author’s note. Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9781101932919

JLG Release: Sep 2019

Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Cancer , Friendship , Family life , Mathematics , Middle schools , Journals , Drawing

$11.50  Member Price

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Intermediate Readers Plus

Grades 3-5

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Awards & Honors

Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Elementary School 2020-2021
2020 Mathical Award Winner for Grades 3-5

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Booklist

Book Details



First Release

September 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 4.9; Points: 6;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.5; Points: 12;


Level 730L


Print Book


Library edition with trade jacket added



Potentially Sensitive Areas



Cancer, Friendship, Family life, Mathematics, Middle schools, Journals, Drawing,

Standard MARC Record

Download Standard MARC Record

Cover Art

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