What if every young person grew up loving to spot patterns, play games, and solve puzzles? That might be a mathematician’s dream, and indeed that goal is now nearer at hand with the creation of the Mathical Book Prize.
The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) are pleased to announce the creation of a new prize in children’s literature, focused on books that not only teach math, but also inspire a love of discovering math in the everyday world.
“When most people think about math, they think about numbers. But math is about much more,” said David Eisenbud, director of MSRI, “It’s also about geometry, analogies in logic, and patterns in nature, and it gives us tools to understand our world.”
The prize will recognize winners and runners-up in five grade-level categories: pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. It will feature both new books and those published within the previous five years, with 175 titles from 50 publishers in the running. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. as part of the first-ever National Mathematics Festival, held April 16-18, 2015.
“By keeping the emphasis on literary quality and otherwise holding the definition of mathematics wide open, MSRI and CBC hope to inspire the writing and reading of many excellent youth books related to math, now and in the future,” said Eisenbud.
“We are delighted to partner with MSRI on this exciting initiative that is aimed at exposing young people to the wonders and accessibility of math through books. Great stories that happen to promote or consider mathematical concepts may help demystify math for the many kids who are convinced they just can’t do it, and build bridges toward new ways of understanding the world around them,” said Robin Adelson, executive director of the Children’s Book Council.