Reviews /

A Mathematician Like Me

Authored by Dr Shini Somara
Illustrated by Nadja Farell
Published by Hachette Children's Group

A Mathematician Like Me tells the story of Aliyah who sets off on a camping trip with her cousin and on her journey discovers a world full of mathematics, problem solving and creative thinking. At each part of her journey – Aliyah has a problem to solve, working on topics such as measuring, angles, fractions, 3D shapes, time, data collection, Fibonacci numbers, height and trajectories.

The illustrations are vibrant and engaging and will capture children’s attention because there is so much for them to absorb and discuss with their peers, for example, the use of graph-style paper to form pathways or thought bubbles and grids which show the comparative height of buildings such as Big Ben and The Statue of Liberty. They, like Aliyah, will journey through the world of maths, making observations and challenging each other to solve the problems, including specific activities at the end of the book.

This book is a must for primary school classrooms as Maths is an integral part of the story; showing children how it is present and important in all areas of their lives. It celebrates women from history who used Maths, such as Florence Nightingale and Caroline Herschel. It will encourage children to use mathematical language in conversation as part of their daily lives and shows them how much fun Maths can be.

I would recommend this story for Year 2 onwards. If reading it aloud to a class, there is so much information to take in, so reading it in smaller sections would probably be preferable.