books, Homeschooling

100+ Living Books on Math

100+ Living Books on Math from Gina @ the Oaxacaborn blog

Implementing Literature-Based Math with 100+ Kid-Approved Living Math Books

Books about math? Yes! Math!

And did you know there is a math section at the library? Our library has entire shelves filled with colorful, humorous, engaging books about math. Each week, my daughter pulls my arm out of my socket dragging me to the math section. (Yes, we’re talking about my numbers-obsessed five-year-old, who constantly reminds me how upset she is that her math curriculum hasn’t covered pi and x,y graphing yet.)

Much of this list, actually, is her recommendation. (The “Math to Know” volume in the image above? We had to have it re-bound by Office Depot, because she wore the binding right out.) So this truly is a selection of kid-approved books. Every asterisk (*) after a title below indicates that she’s already read the book, and many of the ones without an asterisk are on her wish list/library list.

A few books, like Life of Fred and Beast Academy, didn’t make the list, mostly because they’re already so popular. Curriculum like the much-beloved Singapore Math isn’t here, either. And dozens more books didn’t make the list just out of the sheer finite nature of time (I am already planning a second list of 100 more kid-approved books about math. Wow. I never thought I would say those words).

So here we go! Let’s start with…

…Kid-Approved Picture Biographies About Mathematicians

1. The Man Who Made Time Travel by Kathryn Lasky*

2. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman*

3. Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese*

4. The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky*

5. What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis*

6. Come See the Earth Turn by Lori Mortensen*

7.Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment by Wendy Macdonald*

8. Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Luetta and Wilmer Reimer

9. Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians, Volume 2 by Luetta and Wilmer Reimer

Kid-Approved Math Resource / Reference Books

10. G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book by David M. Schwartz*

11. Everything You Need…To Know About Math Homework by Anne Zeman*

12. Math to Know*

13. 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Math by Marc Zev, Kevin Segal, and Nathan Levy*

14. The Illustrated Elementary Math Dictionary*

Kid-Approved Math Books About Programming

15. The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed by Nancy White*

16. How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons by Sean McManus*

17. How to Code: A Step-By-Step Guide to Computer Coding by Max Wainewright

18. Learn to Program (Kids Get Coding) by Heather Lyons

Kid-Approved Math Problem-Solving Books

19. Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck*

20. Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out by Laura Overdeck

21. Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal by Laura Overdeck

22. Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal by Laura Overdeck

23. One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! by Eric Yoder*

24. Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem Solving by Greg Tang*

25. Math For All Seasons: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles by Greg Tang

Kid-Approved Math Books About Multiplication and Division

26. If You Were a Divided-By Sign by Trisha Speed Shaskan*

27. Division by Joseph Midthun*

28. Multiplication by Joseph Midthun*

29. If You Were a Times Sign by Trisha Speed Shaskan*

Kid-Approved Math Books About Addition and Subtraction

30. Subtraction by Joseph Midthun*

31. The Action of Subtraction by Brian P. Cleary*

32. If You Were a Minus Sign by Trisha Speed Shaskan

33. The Mission of Addition by Brian P. Cleary*

34. Addition by Joseph Midthun*

Kid-Approved Math Books About Fractions

35. Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure by Edward Einhorn*

36. Fraction Fun by David A Adler*

37. Fractions by Joseph Midthun*

38. If You Were a Fraction by Trisha Speed Shaskan*

39. A Fraction’s Goal – Parts of a Whole by Brian P. Cleary

Kid-Approved Math Books About Measurements

40. Mass and Weight by Barbara A. Somervill*

41. On the Scale, a Weighty Tale by Brian P. Cleary*

42. If You Were a Quart or a Liter by Marcie Aboff*

43. How Long or How Wide? A Measuring Guide by Brian P. Cleary*

44. Distance, Area, and Volume by Barbara A. Somervill*

45. Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone*

46. Greater Estimations by Bruce Goldstone

47. How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

Kid-Approved Math Books About Geometry

48. Triangles by David A. Adler*

49. If You Were a Quadrilateral by Molly Blaisdell*

50. The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

51. Windows, Rings and Grapes: A Look at Different Shapes by Brian P Cleary

52. A-B-A-B-A – A Book of Pattern Play by Brian P Cleary

53. Basher Algebra and Geometry by Dan Green and Simon Basher

Kid-Approved Math Books About Time

54. Telling Time: How to Tell Time on Digital and Analog Clocks by Jules Older*

55. Time Zones by David A. Adler*

56. If You Were a Minute by Trisha Speed Shaskan*

57. A Second, A Minute, A Week with Days in It by Brian P. Cleary

Kid-Approved Math Books About Money

58. The Everything Kids Money Book

59. The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro

60. The History of Money: From Bartering to Banking by Martin Jenkins

61. How Many Pennies Make a Dollar by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson*

62. I Can Count Money by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson*

63. I Can Do Money Word Problems by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson*

64. I Can Add Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

65. I Can Subtract Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

66. I Can Name Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

67. You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur With a Dime: Problem-solving in Dollars and Cents by Harriet Ziefert*

68. Money Madness by David A. Adler

69. A Dollar, A Penny, How Much and How Many? By Brian P. Cleary

Kid-Approved Math Books About Numbers

70. Basher Math: A Book You Can Count On by Simon Basher

71. If You Were an Even Number by Marcie Aboff*

72. If You Were an Odd Number by Marcie Aboff*

73. Numbers by Joseph Midthun*

74. Place Value by David A. Adler

75. A Place for Zero by Angeline Sparagna LoPresti

Kid-Approved Novels and Short Stories About Math

76. 7 x 9 = Trouble! by Claudia Mills*

77. A Grain of Rice by Helena Clair Pittman*

78. The King’s Chessboard by David Birch*

79. Anno’s Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno

80. Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno

81. Sorting Through Spring by Lizann Flatt

82. Shaping up Summer by Lizann Flatt

83. Counting on Fall by Lizann Flatt

84. Sizing up Winter by Lizann Flatt

85. Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford

86. The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas

87. The Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas

88. Puzzles from Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas

89. Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander

90. Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander

91. Fractals, Googols, and Other Mathematical Tales by Theoni Pappas

92. The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins*

93. Stacks of Trouble by Liza Woodruff

Kid-Approved Consumable, Lesson Plan and Activity Math Books

94. Shanghai Math Project Practice Book, Year 1*

95. Picturing Math: Hands-On Activities to Connect Math With Picture Books by Colleen Kessler

96. Fibonacci Fun: Fascinating Activities With Intriguing Numbers by Trudi Hammel Garland

97. Clever Kids Math, Ages 5-7: Entertaining Activities Especially for Children*

98. Family Math by Jean Kerr Stenmark

Kid-Approved Math Books about Roman Numerals

99. Fun with Roman Numerals by David A. Adler*

100. Roman Numerals I to MM: Liber De Difficillimo Computando Numerum by Arthur Geisert*

Kid-Approved Math Books about Probability

101. That’s a Possibility!: A Book About What Might Happen by Bruce Goldstone*

102. Probably Pistachio by Stuart J. Murphy

So there you have it! Did I miss your favorite math books? Let me know!


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Continue reading “100+ Living Books on Math”


Finding Accurate Thanksgiving History Books for Kids

Finding Accurate Thanksgiving History Books for Kids

Finding Accurate Thanksgiving History Books for Kids

Looking for accurate Thanksgiving history books for children can be difficult. So many of them have been romanticized to the point of falsehood. Stories about the Pilgrims and the colonial times overall  are often problematic anyway. Many of the books which do provide a truly accurate account contain content unsuitable for sensitive children. Child-friendly volumes, on the other hand, often take liberties with history, since the true story of the colonies’ tragedies and trials isn’t a child-friendly topic. And of course (and this is a biggie) many books about Pilgrims depict Native Americans in a incredibly offensive way. (I’ve written more about the way Native Americans are depicted in children’s literature.)

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Thankfully, Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving is one of those rare early American history books. It’s accurate and compelling while still being child-friendly. In fact, it’s the only picture book about the first Thanksgiving I recommend. With empathy and strength, the author — who is of Native American ancestry himself — tells Squanto’s story in the first person.  I love how he begins not with the First Thanksgiving or with planting corn, but with Squanto’s first difficult journey away from North America to England. Squanto is portrayed as a man of courage, and Bruchac masterfully writes of Squanto’s difficult role in Patuxet-turned-Plymouth. With a book as solid, factual, and beautiful as this, there’s no reason to turn instead to watered-down inaccurate stories about this misunderstood man. Definitely add it to your library request queue or your bookstore wishlist if you haven’t already.

Another book which handles this difficult time period fairly tastefully, but not perfectly, is Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness.  This is a good choice to give children a broad overview over of the Pilgrim perspective during the early colonial years,  since it shows various trials, hardships, and joys the Pilgrims experienced while adjusting to the New World during and after arrival.  Kids will love the large, illustrated primer format, and the wealth of hand-lettered facts incorporated into the rich, brooding illustrations. But there’s a caveat: the author admits in the foreword that Three Young Pilgrims only tells “part of the story”,  and hopes it will “lead the reader to study further”.  I agree. It’s beautiful and touching, but glosses over a few details and romanticizes a bit, so definitely read it alongside Bruchac’s book.

And talk to your kids! Like Cheryl Harness said, that any book we read only tells “part of the story”.  As children take in the folklore surrounding the holiday this Thanksgiving, let’s begin conversations to help kids sort out legend from historical fact. I’ve created a series of discussion prompts to help you talk about real Thanksgiving history with your kids.

Click here to read 10 Thanksgiving History Conversation-Starters for Kids on the iHomeschool Network blog

What resources are you using to delve into Thanksgiving history this year?


Homeschooling, Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

Books, Books, Books: the Evolution of the Oaxacaborn Blog

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

When I started blogging publicly — over at Xanga, fourteen years ago! — I was in college, and blogged too many song lyrics and homework details. Then over the years, I moved back and forth across the country, working at sheet metal factory, a juvenile detention center, and an IT department, and wrote about all the ups and downs. When I became a mother, I even went through a phase where I predictably blogged about cloth diapers (I am so sorry). I’ve written about death, beauty, brokenness, joy — and interior design. And you’ve likely noticed that in the last few months, I’ve written a few longer pieces about homeschooling.

My blogging “methodology”, if you can call it that, hardly follows all the blogging advice. It’s always just followed the seasons of my life. But that’s the beautiful thing about life, too — it’s not stagnant.  It moves like a current. It flows, it goes through seasons, through changeable states of being. Way down at the bottom of this blog, in the footer, Anaïs Nin reminds me, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

I kind of feel like things are coming full circle for me, and it all has to do with books. As a girl, I devoured books, and read everything I could get my hands on. Now, it’s only April, and Aveline’s already read 130 books since the beginning of the year. So, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more posts about literature and children’s books, and more posts about homeschooling. (Although, this is no surprise if you follow me on Instagram @oaxacaborn). I have so many good books to share with you all, but I’ve been holding back, thinking for some reason that this isn’t the right place for it, and worried about losing followers. Well, that’s kind of ridiculous. Because when it comes right down to, perhaps, like Margaret Atwood said, “Perhaps, I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”

I’m just thankful some of you keep following along as I scrawl in the snow.

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

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INSPIRATION :: Gorgeous Art in Oliver Jeffers’ Newest Book

It’s so easy to get lost inside the wonderful world of Oliver Jeffers. The latest book from the talented Irish illustrator is due out in November, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Doesn’t the beautiful art just draw you in? He often sells prints and apps which correspond with his books, too, which I think is very clever.
Oliver Jeffers - This Moose Belongs to Me - Cover Art
Oliver Jeffers - This Moose Belongs to Me - Inside Page
Images via

(Oh, and remember when this trailer of his Lost and Found book-turned-film was making the rounds a year or so ago? So beautiful!)