Click the cover to order your copy!
Illustrated by Daniel Postgate
This book was
published in 2000
by Scholastic Ltd
with a different cover

The Mean and Vulgar Bits

Suitable for ages 9 upwards

Pongo, Veronica Gumfloss, the gangsters and the evil Gollarks attack fractions, decimals and averages. You'll find everything you need to smash ugly fractions to bits and escape Professor Fiendish's multi-legged Bellymites and Bogeypedes.

Topics include:
fractions, improper fractions, mixed fractions
percentages, decimals, all out calculator warfare,
averages, means, modes, medians,
and finally you'll be able to pass THE TERRIBLE TEST!

Don't forget to click the EXTRA links for more details that we didn't have room for in the books!


You Have Been Warned

Even though this book is called "The Mean and Vulgar Bits", some people are shocked to discover that it really does contain some mean and vulgar bits. Don't worry. So long as you're feeling tough enough to sort out characters like this...

                                                                         'll be fine.

In case you think this book is useless rubbish, there's "The Terrible Test" later on. The answers are given on the last page of the book and the first two are 86.77561 and 2,583,901. We guarantee you'll be able to work these answers out in your head before you finish!

Very Vulgar Fractions

Where do fractions come from, what are mixed and improper fractions and what do they actually mean? We also find out how a fraction almost gets Blade Boccelli and the gangsters blown up, and why you shouldn't eat anything offered to you by a nice little old lady who lives in a cave with a raven and a talking cat. By the time you've finished this chapter you'll be able to multiply and divide fractions, and you'll have averted an invasion from the Evil Gollarks.

Blinkin' Awkward Numbers

Some numbers will divide up nicely into lots of other numbers, but PRIME numbers will not divide at all! Meet Winch and Kimpton - two of the nuttiest pure mathematicians (and just for once these are actually real people who helped in writing this book!) and learn how to crumble big numbers down into prime factors.
EXTRA - The Prime Number Calculator - and a good trick!

EXTRA - Will a number divide by 11, 7 or 13?

The Bug Buster

How to eliminate big ugly fractions using "HCF Eliminator" and even "Full Strength Factorise". Once you learn the tricks of reducing and cancelling, you're ready to climb into the ring with a mega fraction sum and completely smash it to bits.

EXTRA - Smash big numbers to bits with our FACTORISER calculator!

Brotherly Love and the LCD

Luigi is trying to organise a party for the Boccelli brothers and the Gabrianni brothers but he has to make sure all the food shares fairly - even though he doesn't know how many guests to expect. Does he really need to order 2,640 cannelloni rolls?

EXTRA - The LCD and HCF Calculator - what a great toy!

The Phantom Sausage and the Wrong Bottom

This chapter takes us everywhere. As we find out about adding and subtracting fractions, we also see how Pongo McWhiffy once again blows his chances with the terribly lovely Veronica Gumfloss. Then we go back a few thousand years to see some Egyptian fractions, followed by an encounter with Professor Fiendish in space, and finally we've just time to save the Foul City of Fastbuck from it's mutating sewage system.

EXTRA - Since the book came out a VERY clever Murderous Maths reader called PRV has worked out that the "impossible" Egyptian fraction 3/179 = 1/60 +1/10740.

Deadly Decimals

How to save the world from Professor Fiendish's Numeric Materialiser and what's the point of a decimal point. There's a bit on percentages and money, then play the Decimal Detectives game!

All Out Calculator Warfare!

A battle of brains and instinct for 2 or more people... if you think you're tough enough!

The Mean Bits

Brace yourself as you visit Planet Mean! Why does every Meanie wear 1 and 1/4 trouser legs, a bit of a dress, high heeled lace up wellington boots, one sock and half a bra? Find out about averages and the difference between means, modes and medians. Try not to squirm as you're crawled over by the one-legged bottigrubs and find out why Pongo is a mathematical freak.

There's even a couple of slick tricks:

The Terrible Test

You've already seen the awesome answers on the back page - but now are you ready for the questions? (Don't panic. In fact you'll find yourself wishing that all tests and exams were like this one!)


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