a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Wright 3 (2006)
Blue Balliet
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

This is the second mystery book with Calder, Petra and Tommy, where the events take place after those in “Chasing Vermeer”. The main theme in the book is the impending destruction / tear-down of famous Frank Lloyd Wright house - “The Robie House” - on the University of Chicago campus. The art students of the university school are convinced this is akin to murder and try to find ways of saving the landmark. At the same time, some thieves are trying to rob the Robie House. And the kids hear that Wright had encoded his visage, his soul, into the house, which is a mystery they feel they must crack.

All ends well, with hints of some supernatural elements about a living house thrown in. As a bonus, they finally find Wright's hidden code in the form of a stick-figure, skeletal man drawn on a glass window, with body parts set in dimensions which form a Fibonacci sequence (“It's a Fibonacci man! Wright coded himself in Fibonacci numbers!”)

As in “Chasing Vermeer”, the children communicate through a mathematical code, though the code used in this book is new (“Wright Sandwich Code”, which uses pentominoes as a coding mechanism). Similarly, the book contains illustrations in which there are hidden fish-figures. It turns out that book chapters whose numbers are part of the Fibonacci sequence contain the same number of fish but illustrations in other chapters do not.

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Works Similar to The Wright 3
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet
  2. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
  3. The Square Root of Murder by Paul Zindel
  4. Claudia and the Middle School Mystery (Baby-sitters Club) by Ann Martin
  5. The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller
  6. Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
  7. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  8. Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman
  9. Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman
  10. Saraswati's Way by Monika Schroder
Ratings for The Wright 3:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2.33/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.75/5 (4 votes)

GenreMystery, Children's Literature, Young Adult,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)