Did you know there are lots of great math fiction chapter books and short stories where calculations play a central role in the story?

With the help of my 8-year0old, I've compiled this list of math chapter books and story collections where mathematical concepts play a crucial part of the story. They are excellent tools for cross-curriculum learning. Best of all, even if your child's favorite subject in school is art or drama or history, all of the books make math accessible and tell a good story. (And by the way, if your kid loves art, try one of these amazing math art projects for kids.)

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## Math-Themed Chapter Books

*The Lemonade War*. Evan is people-smart and his younger sister, Jessie, is book-smart. Their sibling rivalry results in a summer contest to see who can earn the most money selling lemonade. Throughout the book both business and math calculations play an important role, but they never overwhelm what is essentially a story about a sibling relationship.

*Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School*. Fans of the zany humor in Louis Sachar's *Sideways Stories from Wayside School*will enjoy the crazy take on mathematics in these two books. You know you've entered a strange school when your teacher can explain in mathematical terms how "she x he = sass." Each chapter acts as a very short stand-alone tale that centers around a logic problem requiring math skills. They are pretty wacky, but also quite clever (and frankly, challenging!). The books also include clues and solutions to each problem-puzzle.

*7 x 9 = Trouble!* and *Fractions = Trouble!*. These two books were on my list of Early Chapter Book Series about Boys. Third grader, Wilson is embarrassed that he struggles with math in school. He dreads timed tests and fears his friends will find out he has a tutor. There is much comic relief in the form of a hamster! My son loves these books and has reread them over and over.

*The Candy Corn Contest*. In this installment of The Kids of Polk Street School series, the action centers around a contest to see who can guess the number of candy corn in a teacher's jar. As you might expect there is much discussion about estimating. However, like the rest of the series, the story also deals with kids overcoming their insecurities and learning the ropes of being a good friend. *Also Available for Kindle*.

*The Toothpaste Millionaire*. The practical side of math is highlighted when sixth-graders Rufus and Kate decide to invent a superior toothpaste, sell it and make their fortunes. First published 40 years ago, Jean Merrill's book (she also wrote *The Pushcart War*) is still a highly entertaining celebration of the imaginative spirit. After reading this book, don't be surprised to see your kid start up a new entrepreneurial endeavor using his or her math skills!

*The Math Wiz*. This is a book you can find on my list of stand-alone early chapter books for boys. 3rd grader Marty looks at everything in his life as a math equation to be solved. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be able to solve his P.E. problem with any recognizable formula. The text includes pictures of the creative ways Marty sees the world in mathematical terms. *Also available for the Kindle.*

*The Phantom Tollbooth*. Oh, you thought *The Phantom Tollbooth* was just about grammar and word play? Don't forget Milo and Tock visit Digitopolis, chat up a Dodecahedron and explore curious mathematical concepts like infinity with a Mathematician. *Also available for Kindle.*

*The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure.* This is an odd sort of book, translated from the German, but my 8 year old declared it a winner. 12 year old Robert has trouble with math and each night in his dreams he meets the Number Devil who helps him understand various mathematical concepts, some of which are quite advanced. Illustrations are in color, which is unusual for a chapter book and math concepts are visually displayed. *Also Available for Kindle*.

### MATH SHORT STORIES:

*The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat*, *Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat *and *Fractals, Googols, and Other Mathematical Tales*. Pappas' books each contain short tales narrowly focused on a particular mathematical concept. You name the concept, there's a explanatory story about it. The books include side notes, copious diagrams, thorough explanations as well as suggested activities. These are terrific books for math-obsessed kids but are also very useful for children who might need some help understanding a particular concept. *Also Available for Kindle (although many of the reviews indicate the Kindle versions have numerous scanning errors)*.

*The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures*. In ancient Arabia, Beremiz Samir dispenses his mathematical wisdom to solve problems, give advice and to inspired admiration wherever he goes. Math concepts and the history of important mathematicians weave through the adventures of one man during his travels.

**More:**

- Math books for babies and toddlers
- Math books for preschoolers
- Math books for early elementary kids
- Math books about advanced concepts
- Math reference books that are actually fun
- Hands on math learning: make a book about shapes (plus shape picture books)

Jen Fischer says

Great list. Pinned!

Erica says

Thanks, Jen!

Natalie says

This is a seriously awesome list - I am going to get some books off it ASAP 🙂

Erica says

I thought you might like them!

nicole says

I find that the Madeline L'Engle series focuses on mathematical big ideas "greatness" "smallness" ...

Also, love the Math Quest Books, Mansion Mazes, Museum of Mysteries, Planet of Puzzles.

And What's Your Angle Pythagoras?

Erica says

Nicole, I can't believe I forgot about A Wrinkle in Time! Of course that is an excellent suggestion!!! And wow, thanks for further titles to check out. My son will be delighted.

maryanne @ mama smiles says

I remember loving those sideways school books!

PragmaticMom says

Awesome! Pinned, tweeted and sulia'd.

PragmaticMom says

You might also like A Grain of Rice by Helena Claire Pittman for your list. It's about exponential numbers. And Clare Vanderpool's newest book, Navigating Early. A story that wraps Pi into an adventure tale of two boys.

Amy @ Sunlit Pages says

I love both the photo and the collage. The photo seems to be a little more personal, which I like, but I like being able to see all the covers too.

Erica says

Thanks, Amy. I'm not sure what I'll keep doing. Maybe both! And then, of course, I don't even have the right books in the photo. 🙂

Fanny Harville says

What a great list! I look forward to introducing them to my son. While they aren't chapter books, my son thinks the Sir Cumference books are funny books about math.

Erica says

We've only been able to read one of those (I can't remember which one) because strangely that is all our library has!

Jill Foley says

My daughter (age 8) also really liked that series.

E.S. Ivy says

My youngest loves the Lemonade War series!

I like the collage at the top - told me at a glance what you'd be covering. It's kind of like "face out" at the bookstore compared to the bottom photo. 🙂

Erica says

Yes, the collage communicates the list contents better. I'm trying to find a way to be different from all the other collages! But I guess collages are popular for a reason!

E.S. Ivy says

I can relate to the trying something different thing. Keep trying! I bet you'll come up with something. 🙂

Lorie says

Another great list! Thank you!

Melissa@Julia's Bookbag says

LOVE YOUR REDESIGN!!!! gorgeous. love love love it!!!!

Erica says

Thanks Melissa, it was just installed today and I'm working on getting used to the new features!

iGameMom says

Great list. It is on my pin board. I found Stop Math is quite interesting. It is a book app for iPAD. It used some interactive features for the book making it fun. http://ow.ly/jsDcC

Tulip says

These books are so unique. I love your lists because I am always lost at the library. I can't wait to read these math stories and make my daughter even more interested in Math! Thanks.

Erica MomandKiddo says

I hope your daughter enjoys some of the selections.

Deanna Straub says

Thanks for this great list! Another great chapter book that I use each year with my third graders is Lunch Money by Andrew Clements. My children really understand higher level math concepts such as converting fractions to decimals and percentages just from the problems that present themselves in this book. I highly recommend it!

Erica MomandKiddo says

Deanna: thanks for the tip. So funny because my son just read that book last week! I haven't read it myself yet, but now I will and add it to the list.

Even in Australia says

My 5-year-old has developed an interest in math recently. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions of books geared more to her age group - although I'm sure she would enjoy some of these if I read them to her. We recently read the (picture book) biography of Paul Erdos and she loved that. It has a nice introduction to prime numbers.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Rachel, I assume you are more interested in picture books? You could take a look at my Pinboard for Math Picture Books (you don't have to have a Pinterest account to do so). http://pinterest.com/momandkiddo/picture-books-math/ There's a few books there, but also some lists and resources that might help you out.

Even in Australia says

Thanks!

68sandy says

AMAZING LIST!!! Thank you :)))

Erica MomandKiddo says

Thank you! I'm glad you find it useful.

Kimberly Moore says

Great list! Arithmetic Village also has some very sweet concept books for children of all ages.

Carol says

Any good books that are more focused on girls and math??? Sixth thru Eighth grade girls that are gifted and smart really struggle at this point in their life...a good book or suggested role model mathematician would be good to read about....

Erica MomandKiddo says

Carol - That is an excellent question. Sophie Simon Explains Them All is about a girl who is super smart at math, but may be better for 3rd - 5th graders. There's always A Wrinkle in Time. In the Lemonade War it is the sister, not the brother who is the math wiz. I'm going to ask my social media channels if anyone has any recommendations, so check back here in a day or two.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Carol -- here are some responses I got: Chasing Vermeer, My Life in Pink & Green, Millicent Min Girl Genius,

Short Seller by Elissa Brent Weissman. I'm not familiar with any of these books, but I hope they help you.

Martha L. says

"Math Potatoes" and "The Grapes of Math" are good for the lower grades

Martha L. says

(both of the above by Greg Tang)

Marion Stade says

I am truly enjoying all of the ideas you have posted about. Pinterest has made me dread clicking on those links. Now you must sign in to see much of anything. This comment is not to make you change anything, it is just a "heads up" that now you must sign in/ sign up to see much of anything. I wish I could just see you favorite picture math books on your blog.

Erin says

One Hundred Pounds of Popcorn is good as well, though it is out of print, but you can find it used.

Also if you haven't read the Life of Fred series (the first book is called Apples) then that one is a must read! They're expensive but many libraries have them.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Thanks for the recommendation.

Chandana says

Murderous Maths series should be top of this list. Missing.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Thank you for the recommendation! If the Murderous Maths series becomes available over here in the States I shall read it for consideration! I'm sure you understand why I don't recommend books I haven't read.

Erin @Nourishing My Scholar says

Awesome list! My 8 year old loved the Number Devil. We will have to check the others out as well.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Happy reading!

Lilac Mohr says

I love this list! Novels involving math are so inspiring to children. I would also add Mathematicians are People Too to the list. I recently published my own interactive math adventure novel, which was inspired by many of these titles. It's on Amazon and called Math and Magic in Wonderland. I'd love for you to review it, if interested. http://www.amazon.com/Math-Magic-Wonderland-Lilac-Mohr/dp/1532894422/

Paul says

Add Numbed by D Lubar to your list