7 Must-Read Math Novels For High School Students

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Editorial Team

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Novels serve quite a part of high schoolers’ journey. From fiction to romance to theories, students indulge in novels the most during this phase. But have you ever thought about how great math novels are for these teens? The distinctive fusion of literature and mathematics is popular among students as it includes all parts of fiction infused with mathematics concepts.

Since novels form a significant chunk of them, these are also known as math novels. Despite their existence for centuries now, math novels are being considered a separate category in recent times. High schoolers are getting into the habit of math novels and they have become a valuable source of education, as they uniquely provide information. These novels develop the interest and build concepts of maths in reality so that the student understands them fully. 

What makes mathematical fiction special?

The unique blend of mathematics and literature itself makes mathematical fiction special. Fiction is a good source of insights into various societies and cultures. When mathematics is integrated into these fictions and novels, teenagers learn better and quicker. Thus, reading fiction, is no doubt, a useful hobby for high school students.

The way mathematicians think and how they implement the same to address different aspects gives you a new perspective about different subjects. Many capable authors beautifully craft their stories around topics of mathematics. These can be treated as a learning opportunity. 

Benefits of reading math novels

Reading math novels can be of great benefit to high school students. A few of them are-

  1. Math novels help high school students to focus more.
  2. Literature helps students to connect math in real life.
  3. Math novels help in growing interest in mathematics as a subject.
  4. It helps in interpreting a concept well and inferring the core points.
  5. Reading math literature helps in creative thinking.
  6. It helps you to stay on the subject for long.
  7. It improves critical thinking and analysis power in high schoolers.
  8. Overall, reading math novels becomes a habit which you will enjoy forever.

Best math novels for high school students – our picks

We have curated a list of interesting reads in the genre of math novels for high schoolers. 

1. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is a masterpiece in the mathematical fiction category. This book is written by Edwin A. Abbott, Banesh Hoffmann, Masolino D’Amico, and Giorgio Manganelli. The plot revolves around a Square, which is the lead. The square is a resident of the two-dimensional world— Flatland. He dreams of visiting a one-dimensional world, where women are just straight lines.

This book elucidates the journey of the square to attain his dream. The highlights of this book include the journey of the square through the Spaceland (where people have three dimensions), Lineland (where people have only one dimension), and also a pointland (where there is no dimension).

This book offers a great flow through different mathematics concepts, including dimensions that make it an instructive, entertaining, and imaginative experience for the readers. 

2. The Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor is a story of a mathematical professor and the housekeeper. The professor is a mathematician who lost his memory in an accident. He has lived on an eighty-minute short-term memory since the accident. There is a housekeeper in his house, along with a ten-year-old son. The story is about these two characters, how they bond with each other. The readers see how the professor uses simple things like the shoe size of the housekeeper to connect with equations from the past.  

Written by Yoko Ogawa, this book became popular for its perfect blend of emotions and mathematics. This book takes the readers through a unique journey of sentiments and bonding between two people.

3. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel

A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel

Written by Gourav Suri, this mathematical novel revolves around Ravi Kapoor, who discovers that he is facing the same mathematical and philosophical dilemma as his grandfather. The dilemma is if there is an absolute certainty in mathematics or in life? This mathematical novel helps you explore life in a mathematical dimension.

4. Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

Written by Apostolos Doxiadis, this novel revolves around Petros Papachristos, a mathematical prodigy. Petros devotes his whole life to proving Goldbach’s Conjecture – every even number which is greater than two is the summation of two prime numbers. Everything changes until his nephew intervenes.

The writer has written this book while keeping in mind the real mathematics geniuses like Srinivasa Ramanujan, which makes this book a great pick among math novel lovers. 

5.   Measuring the World

Measuring the World

This book is about two mathematicians who decided to measure the world. Written by Daniel Kehlmann, this book deals with an interesting theme – how to be in the right perception. The two central characters, Alexander Von Humboldt, is a naturalist and explorer and Carl Friedrich Gauss is a mathematician and physicist.

Alexander roams around the globe, measuring each and every point from a pothole to the largest mountain. He dedicated most of his time to derive the formula for the same. On the other hand, Gauss easily writes mathematical formulas. He knows that space is curved by simply looking at the sky, and so on. This book is full of sly humor, and it certainly makes for an interesting read. 

6. The Indian Clerk: A Novel

The Indian Clerk: A Novel

The Indian Clerk is a gripping novel about British mathematician G. H. Hardy and Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. This book is based on a true story set in the backdrop of World War 1. This book tells how Hardy sends his accomplice Eric Neville and his wife Alice to India to expedite the travel of Ramanujan to England and all the subsequent incidents after that. Overall, this book has a spell-binding story and is a must-read for high schoolers. 

7. Good Benito

Good Benito

This book is about a young boy named Benito who finds comfort in various laws of mathematics and physics. Good Benito can be an easy and quick read for high school students as it gives you a lot of insights about the human mind, intellect, and capacity for thinking. Good Benito offers great insights and keeps you hooked on the pages until you finish them. 

Summing up

Mathematics, as a subject, does not interest everyone. But this subject is needed in every sphere of life, and that is why understanding the most fundamental arithmetical concepts becomes inevitable. Maths novels can be used as teaching and learning tools for students as they inculcate the subject and its crucial concepts so that students would understand it the best, with the interest so that it stays with them forever. 

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