Add new comment

'50 amazing things kids need to know about mathematics'

50 Amazing things kids need to know about mathematics

Anne Rooney

We don't normally review childrens' books on Plus, but when this colourful volume landed on our desk we couldn't resist. It appeared to do exactly what we try to do all the time: reveal the beauty and fun side of maths and show how it comes up everywhere, as a natural language in which to talk about the world. So we passed it on to two expert representatives of the book's target audience, which is 7 to 11-year olds. Here is what Thomas (12) and Amelia (10) Beauchamp of Walkley, Sheffield thought about the book.

We think that 50 Amazing things kids need to know about mathematics is a very good book because it puts into context how maths is used in everyday life such as how to create a code and how to lose a day. Each section consists of two to four pages explaining the history or background of the mathematical idea, a see for yourself section which gives you experiments to try — for example how quickly you can work out the sum of the numbers from 1 to 700, or writing your age in binary, base 6 or base 8 — as well as interesting facts or philosophical questions — for example if the number of pirates has decreased as global temperatures have risen, does this mean that the rise in global temperature has killed pirates or the lack of pirates causes global warming? Or neither of these? The contents and index makes information easy to find and it is a really good book to dip into and find a fascinating fact.

It is a very good book and one we would recommend to anyone who was interested.

Book details:
50 Amazing things kids need to know about mathematics
Anne Rooney
hardback — 192 pages
Quercus (2011)
ISBN: 978-0857386021

About the authors

Thomas, aged 12, loves science, maths, technology, going to scouts and playing the violin. Amelia, aged 10, adores the challenge of maths, going speed skating and playing the cello.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.

  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.