Wider Reading

For Students

The books below are a selection of my favourite reads and I have given an indication of the accessibility of each book by putting a number before the title.  This is a guide only and some students will be able to access texts outside of these guidelines.  A prefix of a:

1 indicates the book is accessible to all students in Year 7

2 indicates the book is accessible to able or well motivated students in Years 7-9

3 indicates the book is accessible to able or well motivated students in Years 10-11
4 indicates the book is accessible to able to well motivated students in the 6th form

Those written in Green are currently available in Maths library outside room 708

The Number Devil

1 The Number Devil is about twelve year old Robert who hates maths.  Then in a dream, Robert meets the Number Devil, who brings the subject magically yo life, illustrating with wit and charm a world in which numbers can fascinate and amaze by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Mathematical Problems

This set of 10 books teaches maths topics, spanning from basic arithmetic to relatively complex concepts such as the quadratic formula and trigonometry. The books are written in an informal similar style involving evil geniuses, gangsters, and a generally comedic tone all by Kjartan Poskitt

  • 1 Savage Shapes

  • 1 The Phantom X

  • 1 The Perfect Sausage

  • 1 The Key to the Universe

  • 1 Guaranteed to Mash Your Mind

  • 1 Guaranteed to Ben Your Brain

  • 1 Easy Questions - Evil Answers

  • 1 Do You Feel Lucky

  • 1 Desperate Measures

  • 1 Awesome Arithmetricks           

The Phantom Tollbooth

1 The Phantom Tollbooth is a fantasy adventure novel written by Norton Juster. It tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who drives through a magic tollbooth transporting him to the Kingdom of Wisdom, once prosperous but now troubled. There, he  goes on a quest to restore to the kingdom its exiled princesses. In the process, he learns valuable lessons, finding a love of learning. The text is full of puns and wordplay

Mathematical Puzzles and Problems

  • 1 IQ Puzzles

  • 1 IQ Challenge – Over 150 brain-busting conundrums

  • 1 10 minute Brain Workout – Brain Training Tricks, Riddles and Puzzles

  • 1 The Number Detective – 100 Puzzles to test your logical thinking

  • 1 Math Logic Puzzles

  • 1 Visual Thinking Puzzles

  • 1 The Great Book of Maths Teasers

  • 2 Difficult Riddles for Smart Kids by M Prefontaine

  • 2 Bletchley Park Brainteasers - Over 100 Puzzles with a little bit of History included by Sinclair McVay

  • 2 Who Tells the Truth – A collection of logical puzzles to make you think

  • 3 The Most Beautiful Mathematical Formulas – 49 Short, thoroughly entertaining chapters that makes Maths accessible

  • 2, 3 Ten Years of Mathematical Challenges - Junior, Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenge Papers with worked solutions

  • 3 The Moscow Puzzles - a marvellously varied assortment of brain-teasers by Boris Kordemsky

  • 4 Journey through Genius - An exploration of some of the great theorems of mathematics by William Dunham.

  • 4 The Millennium Problems - The 7 greatest unsolved mathematical problems of our time by Keith Devlin.

Randall Munroe

  • 2 What If? Absurd Hypothetical Questions - What would happen if everyone jumped at the same time? ...

  • 2 How To. Absurd Scientific Advice - How to Power Your House ...

The Man Who Counted

3 The Man Who Counted is a collection of famous mathematical puzzles, taken from a popular newspaper column, features the ""writings"" of the fictional author, Malba Tahan, who describes different mathematical puzzles and solutions applied to real situations. 

Ian Stewart

  • 2 Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities - There are some hidden gems of logic, geometry and probability – like how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop up dodecahedron, the real reason why you can’t divide anything by zero and some tips for making money by proving the obvious. There are beguiling secrets about familiar names like Pythagoras or prime numbers, as well as anecdotes about great mathematicians.

  • 2 Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries

  • 2 Hoard of Mathematical Treasure

  • 3 Does God Play Dice? by Ian Stewart.  An excellent introduction to Chaos.  The title is a quotation from Einstein, who believed the answer was no!         

  • 3 Game, Set and Math.

Chaos & Fractals

  • 3 Chaos, The amazing Sciences of the unpredictable by James Gleick. 

  • 3 Fractal, Images of Chaos by Hans Lauwerier.  A look at the use of fractals in computer art, modelling population growth and the movements of the planets in the solar system.  

Rob Eastaway

  • 2 Maths On The Back Of An Envelope

  • 3 Why do Buses Come in Threes?

  • 3 How Long is a Piece of String?

Matt Parker

  • 3 Humble Pi.  What makes a bridge wobble when it's not meant to? Billions of dollars mysteriously vanish into thin air? ...

  • 3 The Maths Book - Big Ideas Simply Explained.

  • 4 Things to make and do in the fourth dimension.

The Magical Maze

3 The Magical Maze is structured on the image of a maze representing the network of connected mathematical ideas. It covers topics such as numbers, probability, game theory, patterns and oscillators, as well as knots, computability, chaos and other topics chosen to communicate the intellectual excitement and beauty of mathematics as a subject.

Math Girls

3 Math Girls is the the story of the unnamed narrator and his schoolmates Miruka and Tetra, who are Japanese high school students with an interest in mathematics. Together they explore the world of mathematics by helping each other solve problems spanning a wide range of difficulty, from extensions of high school mathematics to extremely difficult problems previously addressed by famous mathematicians.


  • 1 A Tribute to Euler (You tube) by William Dunham - Click here

  • 1 A Beautiful Mind - The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar .

  • 1 64 Geeks - Meet the brains who changed the world from Aristotle to Zuckerberg

  • 1 A Brief History of Mathematics - Professor Marcus du Sautoy argues that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Ten fifteen minute podcasts that reveal the personalities behind the calculations from Newton to the present day. How do these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world? - Free BBC Podcast

  • 2 Einstein's Heroes - Blending Science, History and Biography a look at the beauty of Mathematics and those that inspired Einstein by R Arianrhod

  • 2 Isaac Newton - The people who mattered to him, the influences which played on him and the contexts of his achievements by James Gleick

  • 2 Newton - The Making of a Genius - A biography of the great man.

  • 3 Prisoners Dilemma - Game theory plus bring to life the mathematician Von Neumann by William Poundstone.

  • 3 The Man Who Loved Only Numbers - A biography of a mathematical genius. Paul Erdos was the most prolific pure mathematician in history and, arguably, the strangest too. 

  • 3 In Code - The story of an unknow teenager Sarah Flannery and her journey to create a new coding system by Sarah Flannery

The Development of Maths

  • 1 50 Mathematical Ideas - By exploring the subject through its 50 key insights from the simple (the number one) and the subtle (the invention of zero) to the sophisticated (proving Fermat's last theorem) this book shows how mathematics has changed the way we look at the world around us.

  • 1 The Math Book - Its 250 short entries provide a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them by Clifford Pickover. 

  • 2 Introducing Mathematics - An illustrated guide to the story of Mathematics

  • 2 Wonders Beyond Numbers - A brief history of all things mathematical in a clear, readable informative format by Johnny Ball

  • 2 The Wonder of Geometry - A highly illustrated tour of Geometry, accessible and with some lovely surprises along the way.

  • 2 You are a Mathematician - Beginning with the familiar, this book takes you on a journey from the Greek mathematicians to quantum theory by David Wells.​

  • 2 The Nothing That Is - The history of the digit zero by Robert Kaplan

  • 3 e = mc2 - A biography of the World's most famous equation by David Bodanis.

  • 3 Einstein's Universe - An exploration into the key ideas regarding relativity and their implications by Nigel Calder

  • 4 Taming the Infinite - The Story of Mathematics from the first numbers to Chaos Theory by Ian Stewart

Martin Gardner

  • 2 Mathematics, Magic and Mystery - Magic involving Mathematics

  • 2 Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions

  • 2 Mathematical Circus

  • 3 The Unexpected Hanging

  • 3 Further Mathematical Diversions

  • 3 Fractal Music

  • 3 Mathematical Carnival

Application of Mathematics

  • 2 About the Size of It - The common sense approach to measuring things by Warwick Cains

  • 2 Longitude - The True Story of the solving of the Greatest Scientific Problem of the time by Dava Sobel.

  • 2 A Short History of Nearly Everything - My favourite book of all time, taking you on a journey from the Big Bang to modern day in an engaging accessible manner by Bill Bryson 

  • 2 Measuring the Universe - This is the story of the questions that have been asked about the universe and our place in it by intelligent minds, combining History and Science by Kitty Ferguson

  • 2 The Lunar Men - The dreams and determination of the engineers of the 18th century by Jenny Uglow

  • 2 Mathmagicians - How Maths applies to everything by Johnny Ball

  • 2 The Neptune File - Tom tells the story of John Couch Adams and the quest to find the planet Neptune using mathematics to locate it's position.

  • 3 The Magic of Mathematics - explores the mathematics of nature, literature and art. This fascinating look at the surprising ways mathematics influences the everyday world takes an abstract universe and anchors it to the "real" worlds of science, history and the arts in an intriguing way.

  • 4 It must be beautiful - An exploration of some of the great equations of modern science presented for the non-mathematician by a range of experts.

Simon Singh

  • 2 The Code Book.

  • 3 The Cracking Code Book.  

  • 3 Fermat’s Last Theorem.

Alex Bellos

  • 2 Alex's Adventures in Numberland - Alex explains the surprising geometry of the 50p piece, and the strategy of how best to gamble it in a casino. He shines a light on the mathematical patterns in nature, and on the peculiar predictability of random behaviour.

  • 3 So You Think You've Got Problems

  • 3 Can You Solve My Problems

  • 3 Alex Through The Looking Glass

Interesting Reads

  • 2 Images of Infinity - A collection of images, writings and cartoons revolving around the ideas and paradoxes associated with the infinite and infinitesimal.  Can a drawing of a hand drawing itself and the thing it is drawing ever be finished? by Tarquin Press.              

  • 2 Proofs Without Words by Roger B. Nelson.  A look at the use of pictures and diagrams that enable us to see why a particular mathematical statement is true.  Visual clues to stimulate mathematical thought. 

  • 3 Once Upon a Number - An exploration as to how logicians are inventing ways to deal with real world situations by mathematical means by J.A. Paulos

More Challenging Reads

  • 4 The Music of the Primes - A look at Riemann's hypothesis and the relevance of a formula to generate primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

  • 4 Finding Moonshine - A book full of insight into the nature of symmetry and the people who study it by by Marcus Du Sautoy

  • 4 Dr Riemann's Zeros - The search for the $1,000,000 solution to the greatest problem in Mathematics by Karl Sabbagh

  • 4 How Big is Infinity - An exploration in to the most perplexing, stimulating and surprising questions in Mathematics by Tony Crilly

  • 4 A Brief History of Time - From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking

  • 4 The Best Writing on Mathematics - Memorable pieces of writing on Mathematics from 2011

  • 4 An Imaginary Tale: The Story of the square root of -1 by Paul Nahin

  • 4 e The Story of a Number - What is e, it's origins and applications by E Maor

  • 4 Six Easy Pieces - The fundamentals of Physics explained by Richard Feynman.

Recommended books for Teachers

How I wish I'd Taught Maths

This is the story of an experienced and successful maths teacher’s journey into the world of research, and what it looks like in the classroom. Along the way we meet practical, easy-to-implement strategies including Supercharged Worked Examples, Silent Teacher, SSDD problems, low-stakes quizzes, diagnostic questions, Purposeful Practice, self-explanations, harnessing the power of the hypercorrection effect, how to (and how not to) teach problem-solving and much more. No matter your experience, teaching style or favourite number, every maths teacher will find something to think about in this book.

Elephant in the Maths Classroom

This offers concrete suggestions on ways to teach maths well, and ways to help children in the home, that will offer new and more effective ways of learning maths. The book offers an exciting way forward, a new approach to teaching maths that excites and motivates children, teaching them to reason and problem solve, that can help children, even those who think that they are maths failures and that they could never enjoy maths. ISBN-10: 0285638475, ISBN-13: 978-0285638471

Reflect, Expect, Check, Explain

This is Craig Barton's second book where he offers an approach to help all our students think mathematically. It requires the careful sequencing of questions and examples, the role of the teacher, and the mathematical behaviour of our students. It has transformed his teaching. Drawing upon research into the Self-Explanation Effect, the Hypercorrection Effect and Variation Theory, together with two years of developing this approach with teachers and students around the world, Craig describes exactly what this looks like in the classroom.

Adapting and Extending Secondary Mathematics Activities

This is a practical guide to methods of exploiting text book ideas and utilising different resources.  Published by David Fulton Publishers at www.fultonpublishers.co.uk and type in ISBN 185346712X top right

Resources for Teaching Mathematics 14-16

This is resource contains 70 complete lesson plans with complementary worksheets for the students, specifically designed for GCSE level maths. This book contains 70 ready-to-use maths lessons suitable for the new GCSE Mathematics curriculum. The lesson plans contain objectives from both the Foundation & Higher Tiers to make them adaptable for different sets or for use in a mixed-ability context. ISBN-10: 082643603X, ISBN-13: 978-0826436030

Great Ideas For Introducing Key Concepts in Mathematics

This will invigorate instruction and engage students with this treasure trove of "Great Ideas" compiled by two of the greatest minds in mathematics. From commonly taught topics in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics, to more advanced explorations into indirect proofs, binomial theorem, irrationality, relativity and more, this guide outlines actual equations and techniques that will inspire veteran and new educators alike. ISBN-10: 1412927064, ISBN-13: 978-1412927062

Quetions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking

This provides a framework for generating a wide range of mathematical questions and prompts. An excellent book.  Written by Anne Watson and John Mason and published by ATM - ISBN 189861105X - Contact by Tel 01332 346599 or at www.atm.org.uk

Learning & Teaching Mathematics Without A Textbook

This is a collection of starting points and extension tasks to support teachers and help students engage in the beauty of Mathematics.  Published by ATM - ISBN 1898611157 - Contact by Tel 01332 346599 or at www.atm.org.uk

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