a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Little Mathematician - Katie (2002)
Tadashi Miura
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children and young adults.

A sweet little book by an author who wanted to be a math teacher and hopes he can "introduce the joy of learning mathematics to every student in this world through this story".

A little girl named Katie who enjoys learning mathematics from her father finds herself in a mysterious land. However, the inhabitants are not the silly fantastical creatures of Wonderland. Instead, they are famous mathematicians (Newton, von Neumann, Halmos, etc.) who have apparently been brought there by another young girl who calls herself "The White Witch" and are forced to answer mathematical puzzles if they want to return to their homes. Moreover, unlike Alice, they need not fall down a magical rabbit hole and drink magic potions to get there. Instead, their journey is (vaguely) explained in terms of terms of four-dimensional geometry.

All of the characters are cheerful and pleasant (even "The White Witch") and the many mathematical puzzles which are sprinkled throughout are cute and entertaining. Clear and concise answers are provided, though I'm afraid I am not happy with the proposed answer to the question "why is 1+1 equal to 2?", which plays a special role in the story .

I have only been able to find copies of this book published in 2002, but comments from the author in the book suggest that an earlier version appeared in 1996 and that the later version includes two extra chapters.

Thanks to Vijay Fafat for bringing this book to my attention.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to A Little Mathematician - Katie
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Jayden's Rescue by Vladimir Tumanov
  2. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  3. The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  5. A Foundation in Wisdom by Robert Loyd Watson
  6. Pythagoras Eagle & the Music of the Spheres by Anne Carse Nolting
  7. The Magic Two-Horn by Sergey Pavlovich Bobrov
  8. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  9. Three Days in Karlikania by Vladimir Levshin
  10. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
Ratings for A Little Mathematician - Katie:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreDidactic, Children's Literature, Young Adult,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Time Travel,

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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)