Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class

Barbara Esham
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Sep 6, 2016

Slow and steady wins the race, right? Then what’s the deal with all the timed tests our kids have to suffer though in school? Last to Finish is a great book to help kids who experience anxiety over timed math tests understand that they are not alone, and, in fact, they just might be kinda special. As the mom of a kid who freaks out when the teacher whips out the timer, I recommend this book for kids and caregivers to read together to foster discussion about math anxiety.

I like this quote from the back of the book:

"Surprisingly, many of history's greatest mathematicians have been slow calculators. Kudos to Barb Esham for this wise and witty reminder of the difference between rote memorization and higher math reasoning. A perfect book for the child whose passion for exploring the magical world of mathematics is in danger of floundering upon the shoals of the 'mad math minute.'" - Drs. Brock and Fernette, authors of The Mislabeled Child.

Don’t let your kids convince you this picture book is “for babies.” It’s designed for older elementary-aged kids. The illustrations help kids and caregivers see how the protagonist, Max, feels when he experiences math anxiety, and combined with the text, create a funny, relatable read. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Becky C.
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