Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Number Devil
By Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner. Translated by Michael Henry Heim.
Of course the coolest book about math was originally written in German. Of course.
The number devil appears to this kid one day and brings him through a journey involving primes, Fibonacci numbers, geometry, calculus, and even topology in an effort to make the kid a number devil advocate.
This book presents math in a way that is simple enough for elementary students to get, but interesting enough for at least this math major to get into. It's not something I would have my students read from cover to cover - unless they want to. But I can definitely see taking certain chapters and integrating it into the mandated math curriculum.
Great read. I wish I had time to finish this book. I read it near the end of my summer vacation and didn't get a chance to really spend quality time with it - only skimming. Still, I saw enough to warrant further studying here.