My husband is learning about network analysis of psychopathology, which has calculus in its foundation. He asked if I could take some time to tutor him this summer, which I am very excited to do! I checked out a number of books from the library and found one that I really like – Barron’s E-Z Calculus by Dr. Douglas Downing. I was looking for something that would explain some of the big ideas of Calculus in a way that was digestible on Sunday mornings in the summer. I’m not sure if this is the case for all Barron’s books, but this one is set in a mythical kingdom. I would bet that many students have felt that they were in a strange land upon entering their Calculus classroom, so this seems appropriate. This mythical kingdom is the backdrop for Downing’s explanations of the in’s and out’s of Calculus. So far, we are both finding it easy to understand, meaningful, and a little silly. Of course, there are also practice exercises at the end of each chapter, which do the trick but are not the main draw. If I ever end up teaching Calculus I will definitely use this as a resource with my students. So far, it gives an accurate big picture all the while using silly examples that make sense, stick in one’s memory, and doesn’t sacrifice the content.

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