I used to be pretty good at math. I really was. Then, in junior high, I had a teacher who just absolutely sucked out of me every last scintilla of affection I had for it. Danica McKellar, star of The Wonder Years, who signs copies of Hot X: Algebra Exposed ($26.95, Penguin), has made great headway in stopping mathematic misanthropes from feeling stupid in the least and fucking stupid in the worst about it. With her breakout best-sellers Math Doesn't Suck and Kiss My Math, McKellar paved the way for Hot X, teaching kids to “survive and thrive in middle-school math” — where was she when I needed her! Yeah, I know — she was on TV, where I was watching her instead of studying algebra. Well, never mind that, she's there for the kids now — specifically, girls on the cusp of either becoming their own individual or joining the tween Xerox hive-mind that celebrates partying, Uggs and stultifying sameness. Behold: square roots and quadratic equations (FOIL FTW) meet McKellar's penchant for charming confessions about her life as an actress, as well as a mind that catapults her into the Jennifer Connelly/Jodie Foster stratosphere of supernova-styled brilliance. (Also at Vroman's, Aug. 12.)

Wed., Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly