Unfortunately, I cannot find the cover of this book. I wish I could, but I’ll have to update this post later in the year.

The first half of Tess’s eighth grade year didn’t go so well in Secrets, Lies, and Algebra. Richard, a popular boy in her grade, stole a test and blamed it on her friend Sammy. Tess usually hates telling on people, but when Sammy could have gotten in trouble, she told. Now, in The Writing on the Wall, Tess is back with even more problems, which she didn’t think possible.

First, there’s Richard. He’s making Tess’s eighth grade year horrible. He steals her backpack, rips out her journal entries. Except Tess can’t tell, or Richard will try to get back at her more. The only thing she can do, she decides after talking to her friends, is to wait and try to make it seem like it doesn’t hurt her. But it does, and Tess is absolutely lost.

Tess has her math club to distract her, though, and she can at least focus on that. Ms. Saltzman is a great teacher, and encourages Tess to keep up with math, which leads to another stress, the writing on the wall.

For a while now, someone has been leaving four fours messages on the school wall. You can find any number from zero to one hundred using just four fours. Tess has been figuring the messages out, and she thinks that the person who’s leaving the message might have lit the technology room on fire. So… should Tess write on the wall? Should she ask the writer who s/he is?

This book is surprisingly good. I didn’t expect to like it, but the math parts absolutely made it enjoyable. I loved that Tess could be cool, a math geek, and an english geek. It’s a quick, easy read, but don’t pass it by because of that! I read it in about forty-five minutes. Tess is an quirky narrator who compares everything in life to math.

I also recommend this book because you don’t need to read the first book to read the second. I have not read Secrets, Lies, and Algebra, but I understood The Writing on the Wall as a stand alone sequel. Of course, Secrets, Lies, and Algebra is now a bit ruined for me, but I’m fine with that.

The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman is very realistic. No perfect ending, no tying up ends just because. I can tell that there will be a third book, and I can’t wait.

Comes out May 27, 2008.

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