Fun & Useful Math Books for Different Ages


Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today we get to talk about one of my favorite subjects! MATH!! As a former high school math teacher, I always love talking math. My life has been a bit busier because I have been volunteering and subbing at the high school end of Hazel's school. My volunteer work is helping kids with their math and sometimes even being in the classroom as an extra adult to help. I love it! It feels good to be back in the classroom and especially without all the grading and politics! Today I am going to share four books that involve math, and they range for ages 7 through adult. We will start with the origami book. Origami is a fun activity to bring into the math classroom and there are so many math applications involved. The book There's Math in My Origami! 35 Fun Projects for Hands-On Math Learning by Fumiaki Shingu, shows how math can be taught in the origami projects. It is recommended for ages 7+.

From the Publisher:

35 creative origami designs plus brain-teasing math questions add up to the perfect math activity for kids

Discover how fractions, shapes, and symmetry turn a flat sheet of paper into a 3D work of art! Each one of the 35 amazing projects in There’s Math in My Origami! invites kids to:
  • Follow the simple, step-by-step instructions
  • Flex their math skills by answering a fun quiz question
  • Fold adorable origami like they’ve never seen before!
Includes educational projects for kids ages 7 and up—plus 2 pages of eye stickers, and 80 sheets of origami paper!

From Me:

This book has everything you need! It starts with the always needed How to Use This Book but also has information about origami instructions and the math! Then there are four sections so you can get projects the child is interested in and there are papers in the back as well as stickers for the eyes! Each project is rated for difficulty with 1-5 stars. The math mostly shown in this book are fractions and geometry. 

Each project begins with an introduction to a math topic. The one above is symmetry. Some will be about fractions and others about shapes. Then each project has fractions labeled and a Find the Math! section. The Find the Math! section is my favorite! It shares one of the pictures from one of the steps and asks the kids to find something about it--usually geometrical. 

The origami instructions are easy to follow. The book is well written and will add some fun to teaching fractions and geometry. My Cat on a Mat project pictured above is from the book. It is rated four of the five stars. The introduction discusses irregular shapes and also defines regular shapes. The fractions in this project are 1/2. The Find the Math! is asking for how many triangles will fit into a square portion of one of the folds. And yes, it comes with the cute face stickers to add to your cat. 

At the back of the book there are math tricks to create identical shapes as well as how to turn a rectangle into a square and making right angles. Then there are five geometrical brain teasers as well as the answers to all the Find the Math! sections. This book is wonderful for hands-on learning and just having some fun with origami and math!

Our next book is a fun math book that is full of area mazes or puzzles. It is Amazing Area Mazes by Naoki Inaba and Ryoichi Murakami. It is recommended for ages 8 to 10.

From the Publisher:

Race the clock to solve 70 fun puzzles with grade-school math—and genius logic!

Welcome, brave math wizard, to the world of area mazes. These clever grids of squares and rectangles are more than meets the eye. Can you find the missing value—using only your powers to add, subtract, multiply, and divide? Just remember: Area = Length x Width

Too easy? Race the clock! Puzzle master Naoki Inaba has included three target times for every maze. But don’t worry if you get stuck sometimes . . . just keep at it, and you’ll get better and better. Soon, you’ll be amazing!

From Me: 

The book starts with an introduction on how to solve area mazes. Then it goes from easy ones to much more difficult ones. The times on the top of the page increase with difficulty of the puzzle. The times on the last page range from 5 to 15 minutes. There are answers to each puzzle in the back of the book.

I love giving kids puzzles like this. It gets their brains working both visually and mathematically, and I am always happy to give them a challenge that does not involve a screen. These puzzles will help them with their visual skills as well as logic skills. Plus, it is great to review multiplication facts! This is such a fun puzzle book that I know Hazel would have loved when she was younger. Plus, you can challenge kids to beat the clock. 

Our next book is for middle and high school students (and teachers). It is from the One Big Fat Notebook series, which I love!! This one is Everything You Need to Ace Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 in One Big Fat Notebook by Jason Wang and Workman Publishing. Hazel will be taking this book from me once I finish this review. She has been waiting patiently for it since I saw it was coming out this fall. She is taking Algebra 1 currently.

From the Publisher:

Millions and millions of BIG FAT NOTEBOOKS sold!

Pre-Algebra & Algebra 1? No Problem!
The BIG FAT NOTEBOOK covers everything you need to know during a year of Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 class, breaking down one big fat subject into accessible units. Including: The number system, ratios, and proportions, scientific notation, introduction and equations, functions, graphing a line, square roots and cube roots, polynomial operations, quadratic functions, and more.
Study better with:
-Mnemonic devices
-Educational doodles
-and quizzes to recap it all
and get better grades!

From Me:

Now I have reviewed several of the One Big Fat Notebook series. I also recommend them to people all the time. In fact, I have recommended this book to several of the teachers at Hazel's school. I have recommended it to the person teaching Pre-Algebra for the first time as well as to the high school learning center teachers since they struggle with helping the kids in Algebra 1. This book is that amazing! It helps the student, the teacher and the person trying to help the student. It explains the math in easy-to-follow ways and has examples done as well as for the student to try. Plus, I love the color highlights of the important things to notice. 

They describe these books being like the notebook of the top student, but they are really even more. This one does not disappoint. It covers topics from arithmetic properties to quadratic functions. The book is organized like the most organized student's notebooks with added problems for the reader to try. The explanations are easy to read and understand. 

I cannot recommend this book or series enough. It is even on my Holiday Gift Recommendation List. Please check it out!

Our final book is amazing. It is written for 12–17-year-olds, but even adults will enjoy this book. This book is all about how math is everywhere and how amazing it truly is. The book is It's a Numberful World: How Math Is Hiding Everywhere by Eddie Woo.

From the Publisher:
2021 Mathical Honor Book

Why aren’t left-handers extinct?
What makes a rainbow round?
How is a pancreas . . . like a pendulum?

Publisher's note: It's a Numberful World was published in Australia under the title Woo's Wonderful World of Maths.

These may not look like math questions, but they are—because they all have to do with patterns. And mathematics, at heart, is the study of patterns.

That realization changed Eddie Woo’s life—by turning the “dry” subject he dreaded in high school into a boundless quest for discovery. Now an award-winning math teacher, Woo sees patterns everywhere: in the “branches” of blood vessels and lightning, in the growth of a savings account and a sunflower, even in his morning cup of tea!

Here are twenty-six bite-size chapters on the hidden mathematical marvels that encrypt our email, enchant our senses, and even keep us alive—from the sine waves we hear as “music” to the mysterious golden ratio.

This book will change your mind about what math can be. We are all born mathematicians—and It’s a Numberful World.

From Me:

This book begins with starting with all the comments that I hear all the time about math being a math teacher. It is written to appeal to all those people who cannot do math or who don't like math. Eddie Woo's knowledge and humor will pull in any reader and it will make the reader want to learn more. Even with math degrees and having taught almost fifteen years, I want to learn more from reading this book!

I was reading this book while I was subbing at the high school end of Hazel's school. I was in for the chemistry/math teacher. I had to tell the kids about the book because it is so intriguing. It covers so many different topics from chaos and fractals to the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence and more. He also explores how math is used in topics like history, music and more. Yes, math is everywhere!

This book shares the reasons why math is important and why people need to study it. It also shares the history of math itself and where many of the types of math came from and how they developed. This book takes an often-boring subject for people and changes it into a fun, humorous and exciting topic to learn. Definitely worth a read whether you are a mathematician or someone who stays away from math!