Head First Algebra
A Learner's Guide to Algebra I
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2008
Pages: 562

Having trouble understanding algebra? Do algebraic concepts, equations, and logic just make your head spin? We have great news: Head First Algebra is designed for you. Full of engaging stories and practical, real-world explanations, this book will help you learn everything from natural numbers and exponents to solving systems of equations and graphing polynomials.

Along the way, you'll go beyond solving hundreds of repetitive problems, and actually use what you learn to make real-life decisions. Does it make sense to buy two years of insurance on a car that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? Can you really afford an XBox 360 and a new iPhone? Learn how to put algebra to work for you, and nail your class exams along the way.

Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Algebra uses a visually rich format specifically designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.

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oreillyHead First Algebra

(based on 2 reviews)

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(12 of 17 customers found this review helpful)


Great except the typo's

By Larry

from Denver, CO

About Me Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer


  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples


  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Head First Algebra:

I love how the book is written and how the information is presented.

It makes it that much more painful with all the typo's in it. -6a+4a = -2 ??Where's the a?

Having the answers after the questions is only helpful if the answers are right. Every chapter has about one "this this" or math mistake.

(10 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


Algebra Made Fun

By Dale Farris

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Head First Algebra:

Head First Algebra is one of many new titles in the exciting new "Head First" series of books from O'Reilly. While this title focuses on algebra, most all of the other Head First works focus on some aspect of computer technology.

In Head First Algebra, the authors have collaborated with a super team of talented, creative designers to produce a very unusual book on algebra. In the case of this Head First book, the emphasis is on visual learning, and readers will find reading this book to be an interesting, enjoyable experience, all while they are learning, or reviewing algebra.

The target audience includes folks comfortable with numbers and pre-algebra, those who may be interested in learning the concepts of algebra and not just looking for practice problems, and folks familiar with integers and fractions and who are ready to move into solving for unknowns. In addition, the authors explain that the book is NOT for those who may be uncomfortable with fractions and decimals, those looking for a higher end, algebra 2 book or a book on statistics, or someone who may be obsessed with keying data into a calculator.

For those interested in learning or reviewing their algebra skills, the approach with this Head First arrangement is on visual stimulation, connecting the language with the graphics, using a conversational style, striving to get the reader to think more deeply, getting and keeping the reader's attention, and also striving to touch the emotions of the reader. In addition, the book takes the approach of multi-sensory learning, with the addition of tons of practical exercises that allow the reader to be sure they know how to carry out the presented examples by themselves.

The book has a lot of redundancy and many, many activities that also help firmly entrench the concepts into practice for the reader. As the authors say, the book is designed as a learning experience, and not a reference book, and they do strongly advise readers to start at the beginning and work their way through the material. Their emphasis is on teaching you how to solve algebraic equations, and they soundly emphasize the use of pencil and paper, and NOT a calculator, to be sure that you do know how to solve the practice problems.

The book also has a super pre-algebra section that focuses on working with fractions, decimals, integers, and exponents. These pre-algebra skills are essential in order to successfully master the algebraic concepts and skills in the book.

The way the book is designed and presents information is very conversational and engaging, and it genuinely feels like you are having a conversation with the authors as you read through the book.

This book would serve as an excellent algebra book for any lower level math class on algebra.

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