Tour: The Adventures of Ruby Pi and the Math Girls (Ruby Pi Adventures #2) by Tom Durwood
Book Title: The Adventures of Ruby Pi and the Math Girls
Series: Ruby Pi Adventure Series
Author: Tom Durwood
Publication Date: December 22, 2022
Publisher: Empire Studies Press
Page Length: 147
#TheCoffeePotBookClub, #BlogTour, #YoungAdult (#YA), #Adventure, #ScienceGirls,
A collection of five historical fiction adventure stories, the second installment in the "Rubi Pi Adventure Series" to follow The Adventures of Rubi Pi and the Geometry Girls. Young heroines find themselves at turning points in history. Faced with colossal problems, they use math to find real-world solutions. How will their quick thinking and problem-solving direct the course of history?
A master of young adult historical fiction, adventure, and mystery writing, Tom Durwood gives a fresh look at some of history's pivotal moments-from a mathematical perspective! STEM meets literary finesse with his usual flair for intrigue, suspense, and immersive dialogue. In his latest collection of short stories, smart girls take on gambling, bandits, swordplay, probability, and Bayes' Theorem!
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“Stories, mystery and math go well together… a welcome addition.”
(~ Jeannine Atkins, author of “Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math”)
SECRETS OF THE NOTEBOOKS
I have tried to gild war… But there was nothing
dulce et decorum about the Dervish dead; nothing of
the dignity of unconquerable manhood. Yet these were
as brave men as ever walked the earth,
-- Winston Churchill, from his account of the Battle of Omdurman
At midnight, a half-dozen constables escorted a kitchen worker, dressed in white aprons, into the rooms. He wheeled a small cart.
“Try this,” said Summerscale, as he offered Rupa and Mahit two pewter bowls, cold to the touch. Spoons protruded from the bowls.
“What is it?” asked Rupa.
“You turn up your nose at English food,” said Daniel Summerscale. “Here’s a treat even you cannot refuse. It will cool you off.”
“Umm. What is it called?”
“Ice cream. I ordered it up from the kitchens.”
Rupa tasted it, carefully.
“What flavor is that?” asked Mahit.
“Yours is chocolate. Hers is vanilla.”
“Hah! She’s the one who loves chocolate.”
He indicated Rupa, who seemed to be enjoying the vanilla well enough.
Rupa took a biscuit in the shape of a cone that lay on the cart and scooped the ice cream into it. She took a bite.
She laughed. She ate the entire bowl.
“Thank you,” she said to Daniel.
* * *
Rupa’s announcement caught Summerscale napping in the red leather chair beneath the Eakins print.
Mahit shook his head and peered at the clock. It was just past midnight.
She had so far gone through half of the row of AnaanWarinda’s notebooks.
Rupa stood and stretched her hands out, arms wide.
She picked up a piece of foolscap covered in her own writing to show her companions.
“There seem to be two layers of code, one linguistic and one mathematical.
“It’s a seven-shift Caesar Code,” Rupa explained. “You shift the letters seven down … it seems to make sense.
“You find a lot of pure mathematics. Number theory, infinite series, that sort of thing.
“Then one entire notebook seems devoted to equalities. Adventures in equalities.
Her two companions regarded her blankly.
“Relating one mathematical expression to another. I don’t really understand it. “But this may be what you’re hoping for…”
She wrote this on the blackboard:
The coded version: lzakppbrjbaqgfjzmtrcvprvqpbiwlpwjoq
Hindi: singaronistkesaath yah bikreehai
English: Without synchronization this is useless.
“Synchronization?” asked Mahit.
“It could mean many things,” said Rupa. She shrugged.
She showed them one of Anaan’s notebook pages.
“He considers fluid dynamics in this one.
“Apparently, fluid dynamics as they affect an underwater war vessel.
“These here … seem to be for, moving bombs. Motion-propelled water bombs. He calls them dhatu machhalee at one point. See? See here?”
“That exchange that you have translated,” asked Summerscale sharply. “With whom was Warinda communicating?”
To answer, Rupa wrote on the chalkboard a five-letter name, first in code, then in Tamil. Then, as she was about to return it to its original language, German --
“HEY! Hey you!” came a shout from outside.
A loud clatter exploded on the lawns below the windows.
A hue and cry rose from outside .
They heard heavy steps running down the stairs, joining the commotion on the lawns.
A string of cursing and huffing and whistle-blowing suggested that a pursuit was underway --
Daniel and Mahit both rushed down the stairs and out on the lawn. “Light the perimeters!” called Daniel.
Something told Rupa to hang back.
She heard someone at the door.
She hid behind a bookcase.
She still held the chalk in her hand.
A figure appeared in the doorway.
It was a woman … and she was stalking something.
Silent, deliberate, the woman moved with purpose. She knew what she wanted.
She wants the notebooks –
The woman stepped into the light. Aquiline features gave her an almost hawk-like aspect. Her eyes were piercing and quick – the eyes of a raptor.
She saw Rupa and rushed.
“Wo sind sie?” she demanded --
“Where are they?” Contempt poisoned her words.
“Come, tell me, dunkelhautige –”
She reached, to grab Rupa by the neck –
Rupa twisted the woman’s body as she advanced, flipping her from the hallway into the study.
Rupa fisted the hand with the chalk in it and blasted the woman across the jaw.
The blow was unexpected and sprawled the German-speaking intruder backwards, toppling over the desk –
Rupa scrambled to follow her –
Landing cannily on her feet, the woman stepped out of the large open arched window and leapt onto the small balcony –
She vaulted over the railing --
“Hey! Stop! Stop her -- ”
Rupa called and waved for the constables,but they were spread too thin across the lawn headed towards St Mary’s chapel, looking for then phantom danger that had decoyed the intruder’s approach.
“Catch her! Over there -- she’s near the trees!” Rupa called out the window.
But the burglar had disappeared in the shadows.
Tom Durwood is a teacher, writer and editor with an interest in history. Tom most recently taught English Composition and Empire and Literature at Valley Forge Military College, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award five times. Tom has taught Public Speaking and Basic Communications as guest lecturer for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at the Dam’s Neck Annex of the Naval War College.
Tom’s ebook Empire and Literature matches global works of film and fiction to specific quadrants of empire, finding surprising parallels. Literature, film, art and architecture are viewed against the rise and fall of empire. In a foreword to Empire and Literature, postcolonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago calls it “imaginative and innovative.” Prof. Chakrabarty writes that “Durwood has given us a thought-provoking introduction to the humanities.” His subsequent book “Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism” has been well-reviewed. “My favorite nonfiction book of the year,” writes The Literary Apothecary (Goodreads).
Early reader response to Tom’s historical fiction adventures has been promising. “A true pleasure … the richness of the layers of Tom’s novel is compelling,” writes Fatima Sharrafedine in her foreword to “The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter.” The Midwest Book Review calls that same adventure “uniformly gripping and educational … pairing action and adventure with social issues.” Adds Prairie Review, “A deeply intriguing, ambitious historical fiction series.”
Tom briefly ran his own children’s book imprint, Calico Books (Contemporary Books, Chicago). Tom’s newspaper column “Shelter” appeared in the North County Times for seven years. Tom earned a Masters in English Literature in San Diego, where he also served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
Two of Tom’s books, “Kid Lit” and “The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter,” were selected “Best of the New” by Julie Sara Porter’s Bookworm Book Alert
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Durwood/e/B00935QAQ6