a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Counting on Frank (1990)
Rod Clement
Highly Rated!
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children.

Lots of people seem to really like this children's picture book about a boy who likes to ask (and answer) questions like: "How long would it take to fill up the room with water if I left the bathtub running?"

In general, I am trying to avoid including too many picture books on this list, as they seem to me not to be so much "fiction" or "literature" as simple examples in story form. [As I say elsewhere on this Site, I might as well include every textbook that includes word problems if such things are to be considered "fiction".] However, I include this particular one on the suggestion of Wayne Mills (author of a non-fiction book called "Math Plus Literature") so who am I to argue? I have not read it myself, though, and would appreciate hearing from anyone who has who could write a brief description to include here for those who might be interested in the book.

Contributed by Anonymous

As a math teacher I plan on using this book to ask "what if" questions in my grade nine essential math class.

Contributed by Melissa

"Counting on Frank" is an amazing picture book, and includes mathematical concepts and facts throughout, obviously aimed at the level of young children. The text and maths concepts are supported and strengthened by Rod Clement's absolutely wonderful illustrations, and as an Independent Bookseller and former teacher of young children, I highly recommend it.

Contributed by Sally

This short read shows how students and adults can find math in our everyday world. The illustrations leave students in awe, and allows them to see math in a fun way. Just one of those "did you ever think about that" stories of a young boy and his dog named Frank. Focus on estimation, fractions, large numbers, simply how numbers can be calculated in our lives. You will find more ideas for students to think about and calculate in the back of the book as a bonus. I am purchasing one for me and one for my 6th graders math teacher. I used it in a 3rd grade class and we all enjoyed the read. Five Star all the way!

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Counting on Frank
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster
  2. Sir Cumference and the... by Cindy Neuschwander
  3. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  4. Hannah, Divided by Adele Griffin
  5. Cyberchase by Educational Broadcasting Corporation
  6. The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller
  7. Annika Riz, Math Whiz (Franklin School Friends) by Claudia Mills
  8. The Boy Who Reversed Himself by William Sleator
  9. A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
  10. A Gebra Named Al by Wendy Isdell
Ratings for Counting on Frank:
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:
4/5 (5 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (3 votes)

GenreChildren's Literature,
MediumPicture Book,

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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)