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For Families » Math-Oriented Books » Mathematical Reasoning

Books Related to Mathematical Reasoning

For all readers:

Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales
by Theoni Papp
Wide World Pub Tetra [March 1993]
ISBN: 0933174896

Mathematics Subject: Mathematical Reasoning

. . . The decimal point was a very lonely chap. All his friends were being used in sentences while he languished looking for a purpose in life. Finally, the mathematicians came along and used him to represent fractions. If you are entranced by stories such as these, this is the book for you. Simple and clever tales introduce mathematical concepts and language, allowing you to see these sometimes-complex ideas in new and understandable ways. The fictional tales of the advent of mathematical terms and operations is accompanied by the true story of how these actually came into use.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
by D. B. Johnson, illustrated by D. B. Johnson
Houghton Mifflin Co. [February 28, 2000]
ISBN: 0395968674

Mathematics Subject[s]: Mathematical Reasoning

It’s an old story to be true: two friends start out on a journey. One decides to walk to their destination, while the other decides to ride the train. Who gets there first? More importantly, who gets there more satisfied? Readers will explore the mathematical principles behind time and money while considering the sometimes-unexpected benefits of taking a road less traveled.

Math Curse
by John Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Viking Children’s Books [October 1995]
ISBN: 0670861944

Mathematics Subject[s]: Mathematical Reasoning

“You know, when you think about it, almost everything is a math problem.” Thus begins a delightful exploration of number and number sense by a young girl as she goes about daily life at home (“Does tunafish + tunafish equal fournafish?”) and at school, where 24 cupcakes have to be divided among 25 students. Has her teacher really put a math curse on her? Only her dreams will tell. (P.S. The book costs $1,001 in binary numbers. Go figure!)

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner and Michael Henry Heim
Henry Holt & Company Reprint edition [May 2000]
ISBN: 0805062998

Mathematics Subject[s]: Algebra, Mathematical Analysis, Mathematical Reasoning, Number Sense

In his dreams, Robert meets the number devil, a magical and clever being who introduces and explains some of the most complex mathematical concepts in such an engaging way that they become crystal-clear to Robert (and the reader). Infinite numbers, Fibonnaci numbers, prime numbers, ands numbers that appear in triangles become more than the stuff of dreams in this international best seller. You may be afraid of the bogeyman but, after reading this book, you’ll love the Number Devil.

Number Stories of Long Ago
by David Eugene Smith
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [1997] Stock # 577
ISBN: 0873534085

Mathematics Subject[s]: Mathematical Reasoning, Number Sense

The Story-Teller entertains a group of children (including one young lady known as The Tease) with eight stories that connect mathematics, history, and human nature. One chapter, for example, tells how Leonardo of Pisa, Cuthbert Tonstall, and Johann Widman all played roles in the development of multiplication. The last two chapters in the book contain math puzzles and riddles that deal with fractions, exponents, rules for divisibility, and number sense concepts, with explanations about ways to solve them. Originally published in 1919, the book was written by mathematician David Eugene Smith, a distinguished mathematics historian and educator. Its stories still ring true with readers today.

For more experienced readers:

Conned Again, Watson! Cautionary Tales of Logic, Math, and Probability
by Colin Bruce
Perseus Publishing; 1st edition [January 15, 2002]
ISBN: 0738205893

Mathematics Subject[s]: Mathematical Reasoning, Measurement & Geometry, Statistics, Data Analysis, & Probability

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson rise again, this time to tackle twelve mathematical mysteries with cunning and aplomb. This time, evil is afoot in the form of the unfortunate businessman, the gambling nobleman, and the perfect accountant, among others. And all it takes is superb logic—and a vast knowledge of probability, statistics, decision and gaming theories—to put their dastardly plans to rest. Luckily, Holmes is up to the task. Each case serves to demonstrate that there has never been a more a more interesting way to learn how to spot a scam artist or take a calculated (but mathematically assured) risk.

Flatterland: Like Flatland, Only More So
by Ian Stewart
Perseus Publishing [April 10, 2001]
ASIN: 0738204420

Mathematical Subject[s]: Algebra, Mathematical Analysis, Measurement & Geometry

Victoria Line (Vikki to her friends) is a perfectly ordinary teenager (even if she is only two-dimensional). Her great-great-grandfather was A. Square (of Flatland fame). When she uncovers his diary in the attic, she inadvertently steps into a far different world called Mathiverse—with its eleven dimensions—accompanied by a creature named Space Hopper. Traveling through this strange world and meeting such odd characters as Schrodinger’s Cat and Moobius the one-sided cow, Vikki explores the mysteries of modern mathematics and science, including time travel, quantum physics, and black holes. Part Alice in Wonderland and part modern mathematics textbook, Flatterland does great justice to its literary antecedent Flatland.

Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings
by William Frucht
John Wiley & Sons [September 1999]
ISBN: 0471332445

Mathematics Subject[s]: Algebra, Mathematical Reasoning, Measurement & Geometry, Number Sense, Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability

Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings is an intriguing title for a collection of equally intriguing works by a variety of noted authors, both past and present. Touching on a variety of basic and modern mathematics, these works by the likes of Edwin Abbott, Lewis Carroll, Italo Calvino and others offer something for every reader and skill level. As editor William Frucht offers, “Using mathematics to tell stories and using stories to explain mathematics are two sides of the same coin.”

The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures
by Malba Tahan, illustrated by Patricia Reid Baquero, translated by Leslie Clark and Alastair Reid
W.W. Norton & Company [February 1993]
ISBN: 0393309347

Mathematics Subject[s]: Mathematical Reasoning, Number Sense

In this Arabian Nights-style book, readers travel through the Middle East and see how one Persian sage uses mathematics to solve family disputes, thwart dangerous enemies, and win the heart of the princess. Brazilian mathematician Julio de Melo e Sousa first offered the book in 1949, claiming he had translated it from the works of math genius Beremitz Samir. This fictional character is indeed a mastermind, cleverly using number sense and mathematical reasoning to right the wrongs he finds in his world.

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