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The Number Devil Der Zahlenteufel This work enzensbefger mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children and young adults. Contributed by Benne de Weger, the Netherlands “The title may be translated as The Counting Devil, or maybe The Number Devil, and it has a subtitle that translates to ‘a pillowbook for everyone who is afraid of math’.

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Enzensberger is a respected German novelist not at all a mathematician who wrote this book to show to children that serious math is great fun and not difficult. It is about a schoolboy who in his dreams meets the counting devil. Together they explore a variety of mathematical things a lot of them from number theory, such as prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers and the golden section, permutations, etc.

Contributed by Sue This book is the best – I am reading it to my 9 year old daughter – one chapter a day and she loves it. Anything that gets a kid excited about math works for me. My daughter could not wait to get her calculator and find the square root of 2. I wish the author would write another book – it is wonderful. I am going to purchase the software – has anyone used it that would like to tell me about it? Hi group, I consider this book an incredible treasure.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Math contests require this knowledge and here is a fun way to present it. I am always looking for new materials. The find it humorous, and imaginative, as they discover the world beyond the math book. Enznsberger by anonymous visitor. It was one of the first books I read that helped me realize how simple and beautiful Math is!

Contributed by Sarah Paige “It was a pleasure reading [this] book. It helps to capture the magic of numbers. My enzsnsberger raised me zahenteufel a love of numbers and math and its mysteries and complexities from an early age. Few books are written that convey the wonder of numbers. Contributed by Summer Joy I love this book! It’s very fun to read and it puts mathematics in a fun position.

Contributed by Mary Jo Amschler I have questions! I teach three classes of 9th grade students with a history of below average math skills.

I just read The Number Devil this summer and am in the process of asking my school to purchase a class set so I can begin to integrate the chapters into my curriculum. I do love the book’s ok, really it’s the author’s imagination! My question is about irrational numbers “unreasonable numbers” as they are called in the book.

In the index of the book, “unreasonable numbers” are translated as irrational. I think there is a problem here! Though I found the math, explanations and diagrams mathematically sound, I did not find the definition of irrational numbers sound. In chapter 10, are not all the quotients of the neighboring zaylenteufel of the Fibonnaci Series rational?

He defined them as irrational. I fear I’m missing something, here! They are called the unreasonable numbers, and ezensberger reason they’re called that is that they refuse to play by the rules.


Contributed by Alex I am a 9th grader who just recently had to write a zahenteufel about fibonacci numbers. I remembered reading this book a few years ago, and remembered the fibonacci numbers in this book. While it didn’t give me much about fibonacci besides a few interesting little bits about his numbers, I did recall what a great read this was when i was in 6th grade. Enzebsberger this day i remember little things from this book, about the golden ratio and the dnzensberger ways it appears in nature, the prime numbers, etc.

I zahlenteufe astounded by how interesting this book made everything sound. Looking back on it now, I think this book was one of the main zahlenteufrl i took such a liking to math. I would think to myself, “Now this is what math can be like, once you get past all the ‘eight times seven equals fifty-four When reading such books as “The DaVinci Code”, somehow it makes me feel really powerful to know that in a star with a pentagon around it, the ratio of the pentagon’s sides to the star’s legs is the golden ratio.

This book is a very clever book that shows young kids a more exciting side to math. Although some of the concepts may be a bit too deep for my 5 year old daughter but the way the concepts are presented in a playful way where kids can relate to is excellent.

However, I have to say that the number devil is a little on the sarcastic side which, if he was a real person, would turn off a mathophobic middle-schooler. Overall, my husband, who’s not fond of math, thought it was a fun math reading he thought he missed out on growing up. I have recommended this to many of my homeschool friends.

Contributed by Katie This is a really fun way for kids, well anyone really, to read about math. I read it for a college course in a secondary education program although I am English and not Mathand am currently working with a group to create an interdisciplinary unit centered around this book. It’s challenging, but we’re finding some really fun ways to create 3-week units for 3 different subjects: English, Math, and Art.

Contributed by Rosy This book is a wonderfully funny way to talk about math. It’s an excellent book!! Contributed by Anonymous The Number Devil was a great book. I had to read it for a project in math and found it more than enjoyable.

Some of the math concepts were a little confusing but managable. Contributed by Maria I am in seventh grade. We read this book to learn and have fun. I had never imagined what had awaited me! Contributed by Nadia I’m a 6th grader and i just love to read this book for fun!! Contributed by Donna Meehan This is the summer reading book for our incoming 8th graders. Writing Across the Curriculum is a key component of our PreK school. The 8th grade teachers have developed activities to go with many of the chapters.

We have the students work in groups throughout the school year on these and then each student is required to write an essay or creative story to explain how they found or tried to find the answers to the questions posed.

We start off with the students finding out about the pattern with the multiplication of ones 1×1, 11×11, x, etc. As our “last chapter”, the students pretend they are a Number Devil and research a topic to explain to someone as their first assignment as a number devil. It’s a great book because it is easy to read and gets kids to think about mathematical ideas. It can be read by people of many ages. I read it to my children as 3rd and 5th graders when we were driving to Nova Scotia.


My son then read it again for a project when he was in 5th grade. I would love to have a sequel! Contributed by Kathryn I really loved this book, and as a future math educator, I found it to be very useful for something I could one day use in the classroom. The only thing that bothers me is that they use fake and “quirky” names for the mathematical concepts.

It was ok for me, because I know what they are actually called; however, if a student was reading the book for themselves, they may have issues translating those ideas when they see them in class. I really wish that the book would have just put the actual names of the concepts, and not tried to be as cute. I did really like the way the concepts were presented and thought it was a great way to get kids interested in math.

Contributed by Anna This is without doubt one of the best mathematical fictions I’ve read.

The Number Devil – Wikipedia

I frequently re-read it just for fun, and every so often, I’ll get into a conversation about it with one of my “geeky” friends. It presents mathematical concepts in an easy-to-understand but NOT dumbed-down way for children who aren’t yet able to read math textbooks for fun yes, there are people like that! Examples of differences in terminology: I can’t wait to create lessons that incorporate this book.

The list of historical figures in the back of the book is a great reference and a nice segue into a unit plan for integrating writing and reading into a math classroom.

Contributed by Maria My fourth grade daughter and I alternated reading a chapter aloud every day. It was a funny and interesting book that made my math phobic daughter think of math in a friendlier way.

I’m sure we’ll read it again. I do have a question about the concepts covered in the book. Zahllenteufel the concepts such as Fibonacci numbers enzensbrrger Pascal’s triangle merely mathematical “recreations” or are they actually useful for something?

One thing upsets me, however: Did they think that a devil would scare Italian children, or that it would enrage the Catholic Church? Contributed by John C. Enzenberger does a marvelous job of making seemingly difficult number theory concepts fun and easy to understand. This book could be equally enjoyable to both adults and children and the color illustrations are helpful and artistically appealing. My largest concern, like many other critics, is the author’s renaming of terms.

Furthermore, two questions that came to mind were: Bockel portrayed in this manner?

Contributed by Anonymous I picked this up first of all to practice my German, but was instantly hooked. It’s charming and zahhlenteufel. I’ve been giving copies in appropriate languages to children ever since.