Hot Water!

The first Murderous Maths book was published in 1997.

The introduction included this section:

"A maths experiment to get you into hot water".

Not long after publication, Scholastic received this letter.

(The name and address of the sender have been blanked out. This is not because we have to, it's because we don't wish to cause any embarrassment to the writer's son.)

Oh dear.

  • He "tut-tutted" his son.
  • he claims Scholastic pumps books out for profit only
  • he questions the qualifications of the author
  • he can't remember Terry Deary's name
  • he is going to have the book banned from schools and libraries.
Of course if you're going to write a letter like that you MUST be sure of your facts.

Here is Kjartan Poskitt's reply.

"It's a masterclass in slow-burning sarcasm..." Scholastic editor 1999

We've been waiting over 10 years now and we still haven't heard back.


Something good did come out of this - Kjartan and Philip Reeve created a fabulous 15 page cartoon strip fully explaining Archimedes principle in Desperate Measures!

Click to get back to the last page.