This list features a selection of books relevant to pupils studying maths. It's a great resource for recommending books to interested pupils, or for staff looking for a text to build on as a cross-curricular project.
Tom Pollock White Rabbit, Red Wolf
After Peter's mum is attacked and his sister goes missing – presumed kidnapped – he's pulled into a web of conspiracies and cover-ups. This spy thriller uses codes and ciphers as well as examining mathematical concepts such as probability, logic and the theories of Kurt Gödel. Maths is incredibly important to Peter, offering him comfort in a world that's often overwhelming for him as someone with anxiety and common panic attacks. Throughout the book, maths is Peter's main survival tool both personally and as a spy, and it offers an exciting new twist to the spy genre.
Maisie Chan Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths
When Danny's grandmother moves into his bedroom with him, they find a common language in maths – from taking the orders at their family takeaway to playing games of bingo. Whilst also a coming of age story, this book nicely looks at how maths is everywhere, including the relationship of maths and art and the Fibonacci sequence. It's also a deeply personal story, and combats stereotypes around maths and Asian identity.
Anna Weltman Charlotte Milner This Is Not Another Maths Book
This activity book sets out to show what maths and art have in common – and how they can interact. It's filled with fun drawing challenges that can engage children who might enjoy expressive arts more than STEM subjects, including pizza puzzles, creating your own Mondrian masterpiece and creating the perfect paper polygon!
Kit Yates The Maths of Life and Death
For older readers this non-fiction book from Kit Yates, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath, explores how maths is all around us – from how we travel to how we talk. It also highlights how important maths is in society, including medicine, justice, the economy and how mathematical miscalculations can have life-changing effects.
Amy Noelle Parks The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost Kiss
Evie and Caleb, students at a STEM-focused boarding school, have been best friends since they were kids – but Caleb wants to be more. This is a light-hearted romantic comedy, but with a grounded look at mental health and anxiety. Mathematics weaves throughout the story – touching on Bostrom's Simulation Theory, quantum entanglement as well as showcasing a cast of characters whose interest in maths takes them to computer coding, engineering, climate science and beyond!
Aleksandra Artymowska Eugenia Cheng Molly and the Mathematical Mystery
Created by mathematician Eugenia Cheng, this interactive book takes the reader on a journey through the imagination and central concepts of maths. Follow Molly, as she finds a mysterious envelope which leads her to discover a new world where nothing is quite what it seems! This book shows the imaginative properties of maths – how it can be used to make sense of the world around us – and involves interactive problem-solving.
Paul Boston Sarah Hull Tom Mumbray Mathematics for Beginners
This illustrated book offers an introduction to maths – from its history and creation to contemporary issues such as computing and climate change. The illustrations offer visual breakdowns of concepts including infinity, perfect and prime numbers, pi, proofs, paradoxes, probability and statistics.
Agnijo Banerjee David Darling Weird Maths
Does infinity exist? What would alien music sound like to us? Is anything ever truly random? Science writer David Darling, and maths prodigy Agnijo Banerjee delve into some of the stranger questions around maths and philosophy including seeing in 4D, Gödel's questions about the existence of God and the possibility of infinity.
GCHQ Puzzles for Spies
This collection of puzzles includes codes, language problems, riddles and brain teasers – offering lots of different formats for different learners. The puzzles are written by the GCHQ (the Government Communications Headquarters) by a team including mathematicians, analysts, linguists, engineers and programmers – illustrating how many places maths can take you!
Eugenia Cheng How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics
Eugenia Cheng explore maths through cooking! Each chapter contains a recipe to demonstrate some of the key principles and methods of mathematics, including lasagne's connection to the number 5, how custard can show us a simpler side of maths, and why a tomato should really be a vegetable. This is a really engaging read – especially for those reluctant to engage with maths – and takes readers on a journey out of the classroom and into the kitchen!