





















Our
family likes to read. Are there any good books that
make math part of the story?
Math turns
up in the most unexpected places! You'll find it somewhere
between the covers of almost any booknovels, mysteries,
biographies, legends, and adventures. For ideas on how you and your child might talk about the
math you discover in books you read, look over the selections
in this brochure and the questions that follow below them.
But they're only starters. You'll soon start finding the math in everything you read.
Talking about it is one more way to bring your family together.
Enjoy! Doing mathematics as you read literature is a real possibility
if you choose the right books. The following passages from
contemporary literature, and the accompanying questions,
can give you some ideas on how to mix math and your reading.






"Oh, we're just the average family," he said thoughtfully; "mother,
father, and 2.58 childrenand, as I explained, I'm the .58."
"It must be rather odd being only part of a person," Milo
remarked.
"Not at all," said the child. "Every average family has
2.58 children, so I always have someone to play with. Besides,
each family also has an average of 1.3 automobiles, and since
I'm the only one who can drive three tenths of a car, I get
to use it all the time."




 What are averages? When are they useful? Are they "real" numbers?
 Every middle school child should be able to discuss averages.
What does "average" mean to you?




[Brian] looked at the dashboard of the plane, studied the
dials and hoped to get some help, hoped to find a compass,
but it was all so confusing, a jumble of numbers and lights.
He tried to figure out the dials.. He thought he might know
which was speedit was a lighted number that read 160but
he didn't know if that was actual miles an hour, or kilometers,
or if it just meant how fast the plane was moving through
the air and not over the ground.
When the pilot had jerked he had moved the plane, but Brian
could not remember how much or if it had come back to its
original course. Since he did not know the original course
anyway and could only guess at which display might be the
compassthe one reading 342he did not know where he had
been or where he was going..




 How are 160 miles an hour and 160 kilometers an hour
different?
 What markings are on a compass? Can a compass have a
reading of "342?"




"Instead of twentysix letters. There are really fiftytwo."
Stanley looked at him surprised. "I guess that's right.
How'd you figure that out?" he asked.
Zero said nothing.
"Did you add?"
Zero said nothing.
"Did you multiply?"
"That's just how many there are."
"It's good math," said Stanley.
"I'm not stupid," Zero said. "I know everybody thinks I
am. I just don't like answering their questions."




 How many letters of the English alphabet are there?
 Why did Zero say there are 52?
 What type of reasoning is being used?





