a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code (1998)
Cecil Balmond

A young boy learns about mathematics while trying to solve a mathematical puzzle.

Contributed by Margaret McDonnell

"As a teacher and Education Inspector in England I would rate this book very highly. It is extremely well written and brings to life mathematics. It is a way of making Maths appear fun. It is full of many useful insights. I found out about it on the Amazon web site - the reviews and comments there are extremely favourable. For me this was an excellent find. This is a site well worth visiting."

Contributed by Peter Athey-France

"I found this book in hardback version in a remaindered-books' store (that is, new books but sold at cost), and since I buy all books on mathematics and it was filed under 'maths and science' I decided to purchase it. I wouldn't call it a book on mathematics; rather a book on the intricacies of arithmetic (and specifically, as its name implies, number 9). I found out more about this number than I ever thought it was possible to know. The writer is clearly fascinated by the minutie of numbers and this comes across very clearly. I would recommend it to any recalcitrant youngster to break down a mathphoia since it does shed light on arithmetic in a fascinating and appealing way."

Contributed by Anonymous

"A meditation on casting out nines. The author manages to massage the same pieces of "gee whiz" arithmetic into several guises. There is much repetition and a very forced half-baked Siddhartha style plot."

Contributed by cláudio jordão

Hello, my name is Cláudio Jordão. I've been interest in these subject for a while, and in this book I found some motivation to continue with my "personal" investigation. I like very much the chapter about the Fibonacci-sequence and the Golden-number, and I think I might have something to add to this great "story". I cannot find any information about this on the web... maybe you can help me... My investigation is about, a cyclic sequence of numbers, inside the infinite Fibonnaci sequence. I would like to contact Cecil Balmond, but I dont have his e-mail. Thank you.

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Works Similar to Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Thomas Gray: Philosopher Cat by Philip J. Davis
  2. The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  3. Jayden's Rescue by Vladimir Tumanov
  4. Sophie's Diary by Dora Musielak
  5. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  6. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  7. Night of the Eerie Equations by Robert Black
  8. In Search of the Shortest Way [Das Geheimnis des kürzesten Weges] by Peter Gritzmann
  9. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  10. Sticks by Joan Bauer
Ratings for Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code:
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:
3.38/5 (8 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.49/5 (8 votes)

GenreDidactic, Children's Literature, Young Adult,
MotifMath Education,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,

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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)