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So...I thought since there are quite a few threads going now on the topic of Pre-Algebra, it might be helpful to have one master thread to discuss texts, and to link to previous conversations. (Links at the bottom) I will post a link to my blog once I get photos up, as I know some of the texts are hard to preview online (Lial's, in particular) I have received Dolciani PreAlgebra: An Accelerated Course (1985) and Lial's Pre-Algebra Third Edition in the mail this past week. I already own Lial's BCM and AoPS Pre-A. So I think I have shopped enough that I can now safely make my decision...:D Initial impressions of Dolciani and Lials: Dolciani Pre Algebra: An Accelerated Course 1985 thorough, dry, no color, few pictures/images, black text with some color fonts as headers to different sections. Problems: divided into A (basic) B (more challenging) and C (challenging) problems. Word problems are dull, but serviceable. If your child didn't have trouble with Singapore CWP, he/she won't find these too hard, certainly not in the first part of the book. Odd answers in the back of the student book. Percents Chapter has the following sections: Percent of Increase or Decrease, Discount and Markup, Commision and Profit, Percents and Proportions, Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Percents and Problem Solving. Sample Word Problem: Gilbert wants to borrow $2250 for 3 years to remodel his garage. The annual rate is 18%. If the principal and interest are to be repaid in equal monthly installments, how much will each installment be? Sample Word PRoblem 2: If a car uses 5 gallons of gas to travel 160 miles, how many gallons would the car use in traveling 96 mi Lial's Pre-Algebra, Third Edition: Thorough, more visually appealing than Dolciani. Some might say it's more visually cluttered, but I don't agree. I think the colored fonts are used well to highlight important information. Sidebars on each page provide problems that are linked directly to the text they are next to, so it's easy to pinpoint areas of weakness in your student. Word problems seem more 'real-life'. Each chapter has sub-sections outlining how to solve different sorts of problems. For example, the Percent chapter has subsections entitled: Changing Percents to Decimals by Moving the Decimal Point, Changing Decimals to Percents by Moving the Decimal Point, Wrting Percents as Fractions, Writing Decimal Percents or Fractions Percents as Fractions, Writing Fractions as Percents, Finding 100% of a Number, Finding 50% of a Number. Each explanation is clear and shows a few examples. Sample Word Problem:In the hospital pharmacy, Michiko sees that a medicine is to be given at a rate of 3.5 mg for every 50 lbs of body weight. How much medicine should be given to a patient weighing 210 pounds? As point of reference, this question shows up about halfway through the book. Sample Word Problem 2: Ms Henderson owes $1900 in taxes. She is charged a penalty of 12 1/4 % annual interest and pays the taxes and penalty after 6 months. How much does she pay? Both text have built-in review and self-tests. I think Lial's has more concrete examples, Dolciani assumes a bit more. Lials' questions seem more...interesting. With Lial's I think you'd have to be careful that your child wasn't just following the steps: the steps are so clear, that a child could potentially follow formulas rather than truly understand the concept. Throwing in some Singapore CWP 6 or AoPS Pre-A would certainly reveal that. Dolciani is more old-fashioned and perhaps less suitable to a younger child. Okay, so I have more to say, and want to talk about AoPS and BCM too, but I'm tired and I'd rather here what others have to say. Links to recent threads on Pre-A: Thread 1 Thread 2 Thread 3 Thread 4 Thread 5 Thread 6