Review: The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book makes maths fun, even for those little people who believe it to be a laborious trudge through treacle. In fact, that would describe Robert, the main character in this book. He has been struggling with maths for as long as he can remember. One night, he dreams that he meets a little devil, The Number Devil, who teaches him, as he sleeps, all sorts of useful tricks with numbers.

When you enjoy something, and gain immediate benefit, you obviously learn more.

My Dad made all aspects of mathematics enjoyable for me from a very early age, almost from when I could walk and talk, by relating what we were seeing in the real world to mathematics in some way. He didn’t label the principles as geometry, algebra, arithmetic, and so on. He just mde it all part of my world. Consquently, I never scored less than 90% in any maths test or exam in my life. I just enjoy maths as much as living.

The same holds for Robert, and for readers of this lovely little book.

My grandson was hating maths, and couldn’t see the point. When I took him through the first chapter of The Number Devil, he could suddenly, and effortlessly, multiply 11 by 11, 1111 by 1111, 1111111 by 1111111 and so on. He also learned, through self motivation inspired by his “new trick” to multiply any number you could throw at him by eleven.

This may seem a small step, but you can believe me when I tell you that it was a massive step for Alfie. Furthermore, he couldn’t wait to get to school the next day to show his new skills to his class-mates and his teacher.

That wasn’t all. There was much more magic to be revealed in this great little book, and I would encourage anyone to share it with their children, even if they are already very numerate. It just gives them, and you, a new spin on an ancient subject.

View all my reviews

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About Lance Greenfield

Blog: lancegreenfield.wordpress.com email: lancegmitchell@outlook.com I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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One Response to Review: The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

  1. Great review. I’ll have to check this one out.

    Liked by 1 person

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