The Cal­cu­lus of Change

Jessie Hilb
  • Review
By – January 24, 2018

The Cal­cu­lus of Change by Jessie Hilb | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

Romance. Drink­ing. Drugs. Bad grades. Trou­bled rela­tion­ships. The Cal­cu­lus of Change has it all. Aden, a high school senior, is a great stu­dent with a beau­ti­ful voice who hopes to go to Bran­deis. Over­weight and not cool, she’s nev­er expe­ri­enced love until she starts tutor­ing the hand­some, charis­mat­ic, yarmulke-wear­ing Tate in cal­cu­lus. They meet after school at Ike’s, the local cof­fee shop, to study cal­cu­lus, and end up learn­ing about friend­ship and romance.

The char­ac­ters in this book — Aden, her lacrosse-play­ing broth­er Jon, her par­ty girl best friend Maris­sa, and Tate — are com­plex and inter­est­ing. They face a mul­ti­tude of dif­fi­cul­ties, from a deceased moth­er and a with­drawn father to teen preg­nan­cy. While the prob­lems are solved a bit too sim­ply to be true to life, the lessons and strug­gles in The Cal­cu­lus of Change are rel­e­vant to today’s teens and the sto­ry is an engross­ing read.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 14 and up.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

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