Someone involved with the publishing of it (but not able to make pricing decisions herself) asked me if it would help if the book were a bit cheaper. The publisher will sell it in bulk at 60% of list, which is $30. I wonder if we could get them to lower the price more, if they knew how many people would buy it at a lower price.
I've set up a poll to ask how many people would buy it at $30 (which we can probably arrange somehow), and how many would buy it at $20. This price is just a pipe dream for now, but the information would be useful to my colleague, who is trying to get the AMS to understand the different market they've entered. The same problem seems to exist with the MAA. I reviewed Rediscovering Mathematics last April, which was also too expensive for my budget. University professors buy MAA and AMS books at those prices for their research, but math enthusiasts need lower prices. We are also a bigger market.
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Paul Zeitz who edited the English translation of this book (originally published in Russian), said in his introduction:
As anyone who has taught or raised young children knows, mathematical education for little kids is a real mystery. What are they capable of? What should they learn ﬁrst? How hard should they work? Should they even “work” at all? Should we push them, or just let them be?
There are no correct answers to these questions, and Zvonkin deals with them in classic math-circle style: He doesn’t ask and then answer a question, but shows us a problem — be it mathematical or pedagogical — and describes to us what happened. His book is a narrative about what he did, what he tried, what worked, what failed, but most important, what the kids experienced.
This book is not a guidebook. It does not purport to show you how to create precocious high achievers. It is just one person’s story about things he tried with a half-dozen young children. On the other hand, if you are interested in running a math circle, or homeschooling children, you will ﬁnd this book to be an invaluable, inspiring resource. It’s not a “how to” manual as much as a “this happened” journal. ... Just about every page contains a really clever teaching idea, a cool math problem, and an inspiring and funny story.