“G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book” by David M. Schwartz

The quote on the dust jacket of this book describes it perfectly:  “This isn’t your everyday, ho-hum math book”.  G is for Googol is a fabulous little gem of a children’s book.  A children’s book?  Could be…but it may also intrigue adults.  It intrigues me every time I pick it up- and every time I pass it in the Bookshop, I must pick it up. 

David Schwartz has written over 50 children’s books that bring math and science alive.  G is for Googol is no exception.  Except that…I’m still not sure it is a children’s book.  It looks like a children’s book.  It has a lot of cute, colorful pictures.   At a mere 54 pages, it certainly could pass for a children’s book, but how many children’s books include terms like Fibonacci, googolplex and tessellate?  As far as I know, just this one.

This book would be a perfect pick for a middle schooler who likes math.  It could just as easily interest the parent of said middle schooler, who finds learning much more interesting now that it is no longer forced.  It might even find its way into the hands of the older brother of the middle schooler and possibly the precocious little sister of the same kid.  As a fun, light book that takes on some heavy concepts, this book has wide appeal.  It’s the kind of book I like just having around. 

It’s impossible to pick a favorite entry, but a choice one is definitely “W”, which asks “When are we ever gonna use this stuff, anyway?”  I wonder how many parents of Algebra students have had to come up with an answer to that one?  The author lends a capable hand in answering.

Lest you think a book with only 26 components is too short, completing the book is a glossary covering many more terms, some familiar and some downright perplexing. (Triskaidekaphobia anyone?) 

The next time you wander into the bookshop, check out G is for Googol in the Summer reading room.  There’s a high probability you’ll like it.

~Donna

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