The number devil: a mathematical adventure /

Author Enzensberger, Hans Magnus.
Language English
Publisher
London: Granta, 2008




Annotation:

4-6



Subjects :

  • Juvenile fiction
  • Fiction
  • Dreams
  • Mathematical recreations
  • Children's stories.
  • Numbers, Natural
  • Mathematics

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Best Books :

  • Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 12th Edition, 1999 National Council of Teachers of English
  • Kirkus Book Review Stars, 1998
  • Notable Children's Books, 1999 ALSC American Library Association
  • Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, November 1998 Cahners
  • Senior High School Library Catalog, Sixteenth Edition, 2002 H.W. Wilson
  • Core Collection: Math in Fiction, 2007 Booklist

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Reading Measurement Programs:


9780805057706
Henry Holt (New York:) 1998.

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 5
Accelerated Reader Points 9


999999
Metropolitan Books (New York:) 2000.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.4
Accelerated Reader Points 4

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 580
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 5
Accelerated Reader Points 9

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Reviews :

Mary Sue Preissner (Children's Literature)
Our shelves are screaming for books that will captivate kids dealing with the subject of mathematics. Sadly, we will wait longer. The Number Devil is a red, horn-eared and pointy-tailed individual who visits Robert in his dreams, attempting to allay Robert's math anxiety by providing him with simple explanations to mathematical problems. Each new chapter reinforces the previous, and builds from there. The book has been printed on quality paper, and Berner's colorful illustrations are delightful to see, in addition to adding to the mathematical explanations. The comprehensive index readily sends the reader to a myriad of mathematical topics. Unfortunately, I don't see kids running to pull this off the shelves, and I can't see teachers using it as a read-aloud. 1998, Henry Holt, $22.00. Ages 11 up.
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: 1998.)

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1998)
Robert's not too happy when a diminutive number devil visits him in a dream--"If you give me some homework in my dream, I'll scream bloody murder! That's child abuse!"--but his opinion changes over the course of a dozen nights, as the devil shows him how to make numbers hop, introduces "unreasonable," "prima-donna," and "Bonacci" numbers, draws number triangles with all sorts of marvelous qualities, discusses one, zero, and infinity, and at the end delivers a dinner invitation to Number Heaven (which is also Number Hell), where Robert meets such mathematical eminences as Lord Rustle (as in Bertrand) and Dr. Happy Little (Felix Klein, inventor of the Klein Bottle), then has dessert--pie, of course. Berner adds plenty of full-color cartoon vignettes and charts; the author supplies several additional exercises for readers, and ends with translations of his quirky terminology and a long index of the concepts he so cleverly introduces. A natural follow-up to Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) and Jon Scieszka's Math Curse (1995), covering more mathematical territory--with less plot--than either, but sharing the same daffy sensibility. 1998, Metropolitan/Henry Holt, $22.00. Starred Review. © 1998 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: 1998.)

M. Henebry (Parent Council Volume 6)
This translation from German of a story about a twelve-year-old who hates his math teacher is something of a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and "Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbott. In his dreams, Robert meets a "number devil" who introduces him to what math is really all about. A rare gem, this amusing quirky and engaging look at math can hold special appeal for older children interested in math. For those puzzled or frustrated by math, it offers a "sideways view" that can prove helpful. Amusing illustrations add to the story. 1998, Henry Holt and Company, $22.00. Ages 10 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: 1998.)

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Exceptionally handsome four-color illustrations and vignettes deepen the magic of this mathematically minded fantasy, Enzensberger's (Europe, Europe) first book for children. Robert is plagued by bad dreams until a mysterious creature called the Number Devil appears to him one night. Robert, who hates everything to do with numbers, thinks it just another nightmare, but, surprisingly, finds himself fascinated by the intricacies of mathematics as taught by the exacting but always enthusiastic Devil. In a series of 12 dreams, Robert (and the reader) are introduced to ever more complex theories, from different kinds of infinity to triangular numbers. In Number Hell/Number Heaven, Robert and the Devil meet famous mathematicians of the past and Robert is inducted into the ranks of number apprentices. Surreal touches (numbers flying in the air, floating in a swimming pool), fanciful names for mathematical terms (prima-donna numbers for prime numbers) and problems posed directly to the reader contribute to the playful tone. The generous and strategic use of color, however, provides the biggest boost: even mathematical equations look festive here, hand-printed in warm muted tones. Berner's witty spot and full-page illustrations also work to clarify mathematical principles. Many readers, unused to a novel of ideas, may well be daunted by the string of mathematical concepts, particularly because the reasoning behind several of the "tricks" demonstrated by the Devil is only glancingly addressed. But for certain kinds of readers--chess players, puzzle enthusiasts--this will be a favorite. Ages 11-up. (Oct.)
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: 1998.)

Julie Hudson (VOYA, April 1999 (Vol. 22, No. 1))
This is such an attractive book that one yearns for it to be a pleasure to read. Flipping through the pages, Berner's brightly colored, clever illustrations jump out (like the devil himself), making the reader stop to view them more carefully. However, NUMBERS jump out as well--numbers in charts, in formulas, on blocks, on walls. Fair or not, YAs who are not in love with the pleasure of math are not going to put up with this book no matter how clever it is (and boy, is it ever!). Twelve-year-old Robert is annoyed with math taught by a boring teacher who will not allow calculators in class and frankly, the number devil (who appears in Robert's dream), agrees with him. Readers can truly feel the devil's enthusiasm for the subject in the language: "The thing that makes numbers so devilish is precisely that they are simple." The excitement is catching and some credit must be given to translator Heim, who is able to carry over a great deal of humor and sarcasm from the original German text. The number devil takes Robert on a journey of magical math concepts, and just as Dorothy awakens in Kansas, Robert awakens with his mother shaking him, "If you don't get up this very instant you'll be late for school." But Robert gets to keep a souvenir to prove his dream was real--something that helps him keep and use the knowledge he has gained. A nice "Seek-and-Ye-Shall-Find-List" that is an index of math terms and mathematicians appears in the back, along with a "Warning" page pointing out a few liberties the author has taken and correcting them. Maybe math teachers will identify sparks in students and push this book; librarians will try. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 1998 (orig. 1997), Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 262p., $22.00. Ages 11 to 14.
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: 1998.)

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
In a starred review, PW noted that "exceptionally handsome four-color illustrations and vignettes deepen the magic of this mathematically minded fantasy. For certain kinds of readers--chess players, puzzle enthusiasts--this will be a favorite." Ages 11-up. (May)
(PUBLISHER: Metropolitan Books (New York:), PUBLISHED: [2000] c1998.)

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Publication Details:

  Publisher ISBN Notes
London: Granta, 2008

Media Type: Language Material
262 p.:
(833.914)
1847080537
9781847080530
Includes index.
This translation originally published 2000.
London: Granta, 2006

Media Type: Language Material
264 p.:
(833.914)
1862078289
9781862078284
Originally published 2000.
Includes index.
New York: Metropolitan Books, 2000

Media Type: Language Material
262 p.:
PZ7.E72455 ([Fic])
0805062998
9780805062991
Originally published New York: Henry Holt 1998.
Includes index.
New York: Henry Holt, 1998

Media Type: Language Material
262 p.:
PZ7.E72455 ([Fic])
0805057706
9780805057706

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