Danica McKellar

Winnie Cooper, math teacher?

Actress Danica McKellar, who played young bookworm Winnie on The Wonder Years, has published Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, the latest in her series of math books aimed at teen girls, presenting concepts in a tongue-in-cheek way to make the subject matter more interesting. Other books in the series include Kiss My Math and Math Doesn't Suck.

"The point of the books is to present math in a way that's different from what we usually see," McKellar recently told NPR. "Math can be dry and boring when taught in certain ways, and it can also be very interesting. And so I teach math in the context of things that preteens and teenage girls are already thinking about, like shopping and makeup and pizza and puppies."

Years after appearing on The Wonder Years, McKellar is hoping to inspire a new generation of young women. She said she understands struggling with math in particular because her homework used to make her cry. But because her audience is young girls, McKellar has included things more typically associated with teen magazines than textbooks, like body image quizzes, in her math writing.

"I'm writing books that I wish that I had," McKellar said. "As a teenage girl, you tend to be obsessed with things that are pretty superficial, whether it be how you look or how popular you are. ... You don't have to have been on television to struggle as a teenage girl with your self-image. And that's why I know that math is an amazing tool for all girls to find themselves, to find something that they value themselves for."

Girls Get Curves is in stores now.