Books with Math for Kids Kindergarten through High School

Feb 15, 2018 | Naperville

At Mathnasium of Naperville, we love books that include math lessons. Math books are a great supplement to great instruction for learning math concepts. There are many such books for preschool children that focus on counting.  But what about books that have math for older kids? Here are some that we like and what we like about them, organized by math topic and age range.


Mission Addition by Loreen Leedy

Best for Kindergarten- 2nd graders

This book uses cartoons to explore various concepts of addition, including the math symbols used and the commutative property. We like that it gives young children plenty of opportunity to think and discuss addition in a fun way.


Panda Math: Learning about Subtraction from Hua Mei and Mei Sheng by Anne Whitehead Nagda with The San Diego Zoo

Best for 1st – 3rd graders

This book talks about how zookeepers at the San Diego zoo raised twin panda bear cubs, “Hua Mei” and “Mei Sheng,” during their first year of life. It explores concepts of subtraction while describing the cubs’ growth and care. We like that it explores topics conceptually and shows regrouping visually. Plus, the pictures of pandas are so cute!


It’s Probably Penny by Loreen Leedy

Best for K – 2nd graders

This book follows little Lisa throughout her day. She considers how likely different silly situations are. One example of a situation in the book is determining who most likely stole her sandwich. Lisa likes to imagine the impossible, but then chooses to believe the scenario that is “most likely.” She blames her lovable dog, Penny, as the sandwich thief. We like that the book uses fun characters to introduce the idea of probability.

That’s a Possibility! by Bruce Goldstone

Best for 1st – 3rd graders

This book discusses the likelihood of different events occurring, such as picking a joker out of a full deck of cards. We like that it has bright pictures and sparks the imagination with thinking about different possibilities. It introduces critical vocabulary, such as “certain” and “improbable.” It also has some experiments you can do at home to explore probability.

Number Sense

How Much is a Million? By David M. Schwartz

Best for 1st – 3rd graders

This classic book explores the concept of large numbers. We like the illustrations by Steven Kellogg and the playful tone. Your kids won’t even realize they are thinking about math.

A Million Dots by Mike Clements

Best for 2nd- 5th graders

This book shows one million dots so kids get an idea of how much one million is. Along the way to a million it shows lots of other numbers and gives examples of how those numbers relate to facts and the number 1,000,000. We like it because understanding and visualizing large quantities is difficult. This book gives a tool for comprehending the difference between 100,000 and 1,000,000.

Fractions and Proportions Polar Bear Math: Learning about Fractions from Klondike and Snow by Anne Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel

Best for 3rd-5th graders

This book talks about how zookeepers at the Denver zoo raised twin polar bear cubs, “Klondike” and “Snow,” during their first year of life. Since their mother abandoned them, it was up to the zookeepers to feed and care for the cubs. The book explores ratios, fractions, and proportions related to their growth and care. We like that it explores how fractions are used to solve real world problems. Plus, the polar bear cubs look so cuddly and fun!

Money Skills

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

Best for 1st – 3rd graders

This is a story about a family saving money to buy the mother a comfortable chair after a fire destroyed their home. We like it because it introduces the idea of saving and working together toward a goal.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst

Best for 2nd- 3rd graders

This is the story of Alexander who gets a dollar and feels rich. But after spending a nickel here and a dime there, his money dwindles. We like the book because most kids can relate to Alexander’s plight. The story invites conversations about money and subtraction.

Shopping Trip Math by Katie Marisco

Best for 4th-6th graders

This book takes a look at various realistic shopping scenarios, like “buy one get one half off” sales. Little stories are added to the scenarios to make it more interesting. We like the book because many children struggle with money skills which are so important for daily living.

Word Problems Ball Game Math by Katie Marisco

Best for 3rd-5th graders

This book looks at how math is used in sports. We like it because it offers lots of opportunity to practice word problems. Using the context of sports makes the word problems more interesting for most kids.


Best for 4th-6th graders

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno

This book takes a look into an imaginary world where every object has more objects on it or in it. The island has two countries, each country has three mountains and every mountain has four kingdoms, and so on. We like this book because it explores the idea of factorials (1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8x9x10) in a simple, yet imaginative, way.

Many Different Mathematical Topics

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math by Sean Connolly

Best for 6th-8th graders

This fun book presents different dilemmas, like being on a broken spaceship travelling between Earth and Mars in the year 2133. Of course, solving the problem requires math every time! We like this book because the scenarios are fun and imaginative. We also like that the book shows various strategies to solve the problems.

How Math Works 100 Ways Parents and Kids Can Share the Wonders of Mathematics by Carol Vorderman

Best for 3rd-8th graders

This is a must have activity and experiment book. If you do the activities in the book with your kids you will spend lots of quality time with them and you will all learn something too. We like this book because of the variety of levels and the fun activities. Plus, it encourages math as a family bonding activity.

Especially for Girls

The cultural myth of girls not being “good at math” is a damaging identity trait that sadly gets passed down from adult women to young girls. The myth creates a self-perpetuating trend of adolescent and teenage girls not reaching their full potential in math.

There is a series of books by the actress and published mathematician, Danica McKellar. The books are sure to inspire young ladies who feel insecure about math.

We like the series because it is written in a magazine style that teen girls will appreciate. The series includes: Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

Best for struggling 7th-9th graders

Kiss my Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss

Best for 7th-9th graders

Hot X: Algebra Exposed!

Best for girls entering algebra

Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape

Best for girls entering geometry

This list of books scratches the surface of all the great quality books that incorporate or teach math concepts. Do you have a favorite book that didn’t make the list? Please tell us. You may also want to look at our article about math movies, “5 Movies to Foster and Inspire a Love of Math.” 

We can help your child make sense of math. See how we have helped others.


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