The Mathical Book Prize Award: Aspiring to Inspire the Dreamers of Today - National Council of Teachers of English
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The Mathical Book Prize Award: Aspiring to Inspire the Dreamers of Today

This post was written by guest author Gabriella DeLeon-DeHaan. Gabriella was a member of the 2022 Mathical Book Prize selection committee.

“Mathematics is the science which draws necessary conclusions.”—Benjamin Pierce

The careers of the future will depend on the lessons taught in the classroom today. Those careers will require creativity, critical thinking skills, and a fundamental understanding of science and mathematics. This year’s winners are indicative of that philosophy. Educators, parents, and students will find inspiring texts to motivate young learners to pursue careers in science and mathematics.

1 Smile, 10 Toes by Nelleke Verhoeff

Fostering creativity is fundamental to forming the foundations of learning. This book encourages young scholars to explore the multiple possibilities of their creations. From fingers to fractals, beginners and experts alike can find innovation in this book.

Uma Wimple Charts Her House
by Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson

This book is perfect for visual learners who may aspire to a future career in graphic design. It contains colorful detailed illustrations that demonstrate how a young girl uses charts and mathematics to try to make sense of her world. The main character, Uma Wimple, seeks to quantify anything and everything that she witnesses through the charts that she creates. However, when she becomes distraught at her inability to complete an assignment given to her by her teacher, she is comforted by her brother. It is through this interaction that she learns that some things in life are unquantifiable.


AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler

Mathematics is constant, unlike life. That’s why twelve-year-old Lucy clings to her love of mathematics in order to cope with the insurmountable weight of tragedy that she’s experienced. This book is effective in helping educators integrate mathematics with SEL (social emotional learning) lessons. Students who have trouble expressing emotions can find solace in the absolutes of numbers.

Maryam’s Magic
by Megan Reid

The inspiring true story of Maryam Mirzakhani, who was the first and only Iranian woman to win the prestigious Field’s Medal, will teach students the power of perseverance. Everything that Maryam endured in her life taught her the skills that she would use to overcome adversity and become one of the premier mathematicians of our generation.


2022 Honor Books


Grades K–2:

Grades 3–5:

Grades 6–8:

Grades 9–12:

Mathical Hall of Fame:


Many of these books, as well as previous years’ winners, are available on this list on Purchases made using this link will provide a small commission to NCTE and independent bookstores.


Gabriella DeLeon-DeHaan is a veteran dual language teacher and English language facilitator in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. She is a dual language advocate committed to promoting multilingualism and cross-cultural education and is also a literacy champion for the Bring Me A Book charity. Gabriella is a featured presenter at CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) 2022. Read more about her in the article “CYBERKinder: How the Pandemic Propelled Us Into 21st Century Learning” in the 2022 Edition of CABE’s Multilingual Educator Magazine.


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