Holly Bru
Book Review
The Number Devil: A mathematical Adventure
Author Hans Magnus Enzensberger
This a great book for children who think math is boring and a waste of time. The main character in the book is a 12 year old little boy who does not like math. During this book the Young Robert's dreams have taken a decided turn for the weird. Instead of falling down holes and such, he's visiting a bizarre magical land of number tricks with the number devil as his host. Starting at one and adding zero and all the rest of the numbers, Robert and the number devil use giant furry calculators, piles of coconuts, and endlessly scrolling paper to introduce basic concepts of numeracy, from interesting number sequences to exponents to matrices.
Author Hans Magnus Enzensberger's uses dry humor and sense of wonder that will keep you and your kids entranced while you learn mathematical principles. During the book the author uses new names for the math concepts prime numbers "prima donnas," irrational numbers "unreasonable," and roots "rutabagas"? Not that the number devil is without his devilish qualities. He loses his temper when Robert looks for the easy way out of a number puzzle or dismisses math as boring and useless. "What do you expect?" he asks. "I'm the number devil, not Santa Claus.
Starting simply with the concept of infinity, the devil introduces prime numbers, square roots, Fibonacci numbers, and more, inventively using coconuts, multiplying rabbits, and other oddities as examples. He demonstrates concepts in imaginative ways that actually make sense, focusing on general principles, with an emphasis on the pleasing consistency of mathematics.
I really enjoyed reading this book and thought that it was great for this age group. I loved how unique this book was on coming up with a fun way to explain the different concepts of math to children. I think all teachers should read this book to make math fun and interesting for children. This way children do not... [continues]

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