The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

by Kathryn Lasky, published 1994
Community Review submitted by Ana Pimsler Teller

Children's Book - LibrarianA historically accurate children’s book about Eratosthenes, a Greek librarian, and mathematician at heart, who figures out how to measure the earth using only a shadow, and some geometry.  I love that this could be read to young children, or high school age kids, and all of them could learn something new from it.

It is a great literature resource for math, which is hard to come by!  While it is a young children’s book (recommended for grades 2-5), I was able to use it in my 8th grade geometry class to introduce arc lengths, and central angle measurements (and put them into action).

I used this children’s book in conjunction with the Noon Day project. Combining this book with the Noon Day Project, we were able to study not only math, but geography and history, too!  Also, the kids really loved it – and 8th graders are a tough crowd.”

Editor’s Note:

Thanks, Ana, for this recommendation. I agree, it’s really hard to find great children’s books about math. I look forward to reading this myself.  A great recommendation for teachers, home schooling parents, and others interested in making math fun and accessible.

(PS: Eratosthenes is also famous for a fun and easy way to find prime numbers. See it in action here.)

Find this at your local bookstore