The Art of Problem Solving, Volume 1, is the classic problem solving textbook used by many successful MATHCOUNTS programs, and have been an important building block for students who, like the authors, performed well enough on the American Mathematics Contest series to qualify for the Math Olympiad Summer Program which trains students for the United States International Math Olympiad team.
Volume 1 is appropriate for students just beginning in math contests. MATHCOUNTS and novice high school students particularly have found it invaluable. Although the Art of Problem Solving is widely used by students preparing for mathematics competitions, the book is not just a collection of tricks. The emphasis on learning and understanding methods rather than memorizing formulas enables students to solve large classes of problems beyond those presented in the book.
Speaking of problems, the Art of Problem Solving, Volume 1, contains over 500 examples and exercises culled from such contests as MATHCOUNTS, the Mandelbrot Competition, the AMC tests, and ARML. Full solutions (not just answers!) are available for all the problems in the solution manual.