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Basic Math and Pre-Algebra For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Mark Zegarelli

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Introduction

Once upon a time, you loved numbers. This isn’t the first line of a fairy tale. Once upon a time, you really did love numbers. Remember?

Maybe you were 3 years old and your grandparents were visiting. You sat next to them on the couch and recited the numbers from 1 to 10. Grandma and Grandpa were proud of you and — be honest — you were proud of yourself, too. Or maybe you were 5 and discovering how to write numbers, trying hard not to print your 6 and 7 backward.

Learning was fun. Numbers were fun. So what happened? Maybe the trouble started with long division. Or sorting out how to change fractions to decimals. Could it have been figuring out how to add 8 percent sales tax to the cost of a purchase? Reading a graph? Converting miles to kilometers? Trying to find that most dreaded value of x? Wherever it started, you began to suspect that math didn’t like you — and you didn’t like math very much, either.

Why do people often enter preschool excited about learning how to count and leave high school as young adults convinced that they can’t do math? The answer to this question would probably take 20 books this size, but solving the problem can begin right here.

I humbly ask you to put aside any doubts. Remember, just for a moment, an innocent time — a time before math-inspired panic attacks or, at best, induced irresistible drowsiness. In this book, I take you from an un-derstanding of the basics to the place where you’re ready to enter any algebra class and succeed. ...

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