a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Night of the Paranormal Patterns (2014)
Robert Black
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A young adult novel that uses the fantasy adventure genre to introduce pre-algebra concepts. The protagonist, a seventh grader named Lennie, has been chosen as the "pattern finder" for werewolves, vampires and ghosts. As such, she must solve mathematical word problems of a supernatural nature.

I haven't read this book (or its sequel). I hope to get a chance to do so someday and will post more information here if I do. Or, if you have read it, please write to let me know what you thought of it, and I'll post your review here!

Contributed by Alex B

I have mixed feelings about this trilogy. On the positive side, there is a lot of math for middle school readers, with each book focusing on different mathematical topics. The first book covers graphing/charts/patterns, the second fractions, and the third equations. For a series aimed at pre-high school readers, these books contain a lot of math.

That said, this series does not really have a story. The "plot" is based on the idea of a seventh grade student named Lennie Miller who solves math problems for supernatural creatures that live in a mystical realm. These creatures are bad at math and need Lennie's help in solving a wide range of problems.

Unfortunately, the series comes across as a collection of math problems rather than a unified narrative. While the author absolutely gets the "Math" part right in this trilogy, the "Fiction" part is convoluted at best. Although I do not want to discourage people from reading these books, especially given their strong math content, in my view there are better books for young readers interested in math fiction.

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Works Similar to Night of the Paranormal Patterns
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Night of the Eerie Equations by Robert Black
  2. Night of the Frightening Fractions by Robert Black
  3. Kayip Piramit - Sayilarin Izinde by Ahmet Baki Yerli
  4. Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality by Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
  5. The Magic Two-Horn by Sergey Pavlovich Bobrov
  6. The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  7. Three Days in Karlikania by Vladimir Levshin
  8. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  9. Quaternia by Tom Petsinis
  10. In Search of the Shortest Way [Das Geheimnis des k├╝rzesten Weges] by Peter Gritzmann
Ratings for Night of the Paranormal Patterns:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreFantasy, Didactic, Young Adult,
MotifFemale Mathematicians,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Real Mathematics,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)