Any Book Can Be a Math Book

“Any Book Can Be a Math Book” is my favorite chapter of my new book with Sueanne McKinney titled Mathematics in the K-8 Classroom and Library (Linworth Publishing). In it we take books we like, such as Olivia… and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer and Chicken Soup by Jean Van Leeuwen, and tease the math out of them. OK, I’m not doing much teasing, as I can never remember math facts. That’s why writing the book with Sue was scary for me. (I know I wrote about this before, but I can’t let it go.) Besides, will people think I know math now? I hope not. I realized I had a problem when I tried to help my nephew in North Carolina with division from my kitchen in Virginia:

Grab 12 straws, I tell him.

Nephew: Why?

K: I’m going to help you with math.

N: OK. (He starts to count up to 20 straws while I’m trying to tell him to stop after 12 and then make groups of 3.)

Well, I’m not a math teacher. How should I know much more than basic counting? I just like reading books.

We found some good ones, too:

Bruchac, Joseph with Jonathan London. Cheng, Andrea.
**Smith, Cynthia Leitich.

We plan to offer a workshop at ODU on Saturday, October 16, 9-noon called Multicultural Math Literature in the Library!