When Mika starts fifth grade at the middle school, her neat life gets messy. And math class is the most confusing of all, especially when her teacher Mr. Vann assigns a journal... in Math?
But when her mom gets an unexpected diagnosis, Mika realizes there are no easy answers. And maybe, with some help from friends, family, and one unique teacher, a math journal can help her work out her problems, and not just the math ones.
"Swender paints a laudable realistic picture of the never-ending circuit of tests, treatments, prognosis uncertainty, and physical and emotional exhaustion that surround Mom's condition... in the end readers will be assured that, whatever Mom's outcome, Mika will have whatever she needs to get through."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Swender fills Mika's journey with quiet hope and gradual adjustments. Mika's math-journal entries, featuring playful, doodle-like figures and words in childlike handwriting, liven up the story and provide insight into Mika's internal life. There are also plenty of supportive women characters who help Mika carry on... A quiet but creative story about accepting change and uncertainty."
"Mika is one of those characters that you just want to wrap your arms around... Do not miss this 2019 debut novel by Jennifer Swender!!"
"What this book did so masterfully, and what the world needs so much more of, is show the immeasurable importance of teachers in a child's life."