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The Boy Who Loved Math

Have a boy who loves numbers?  Have him read “The Boy Who Loved Math.”

The Boy Who Loved Math:  The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, published by Roaring Brook Press.

Paul Erdos (AIR-dish) was an unusual boy.  It is his uniqueness and his unusual way of being that I think boys will really enjoy.  This is not a book about a boring mathematician and it is a great introduction to someone who really Loves (with a capital L) numbers.

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The basic premise of this book, which is based on a true story, is that Paul’s mother is a math teacher and Paul loves to play with numbers, think about numbers and live his life immersed in numbers.  He is all about numbers from sun up to sun down.  Follow along with Paul as he grows from a number obsessed young boy to a celebrated mathematician.

Like many boys I know, Paul did not like rules—any rules.  School was not a good match for him as it was difficult for him to sit still.  (Apparently not much has changed since the early 1900s.) He wanted to focus on numbers and not on anything else—even caring for himself.  That is how obsessed he was with his passion.  There are a few amusing moments where Paul needed to do something that most of us would consider very basic but he had no clue how to do it.  The book gives us a birds-eye view of how his very mathematical mind worked.

The illustration style is not to my taste, but check out each illustration and look for the mathematical equations, graphs and number groups shown.  At the back of the book is an explanation of the different ways the artist used math within the pages of the book.  You can also find additional notes on Paul’s life.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

This is an interesting story of a boy who loved math, lived his life on his own terms and devoted his life to his passion for numbers.  This is a great book for boys who like math and/or numbers and for those who like to do things in their own way.  You know . . . those independent thinkers who question everything.

If you have a math loving boy he might also enjoy these books:
The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math
Millions, Billions, and Trillions
That’s a Possibility

You can also take a look at the Logical-Mathematical Learning Style information on this site.