Algebra through Calculus for ALL ages

Even a 7 year old can begin to understand calculus ideas in understandable contexts

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► A family favorite of ours. 

Suggest a reader for this list


PreK-Early Elementary

Equal Shmequal (Math Adventures) by Philomena O'Neill. Early introduction to algebraic concepts through balancing

MathStart: Safari Park (MathStart 3) by Stuart Murphy

Calculus by and for Young People by Don Cohen – Yes, some of the activities in this book are accessible to children as young as 7 or 8 years of age, goes up to high school level activities

666 Jellybeans! All That?: An Introduction To Algebra (Young Math series) by Malcolm E. Weiss

Upper Elem/Middle School/HS

A Gebra Named Al: A Novel , Wendy Isdell ► J See review, we like it even if Amazon readers may not, notice the "bad" reviews are from kids assigned the book from school

Algebra Survival Guide: a Conversational Guide for the Thoroughly Befuddled ► (I’ve used this with middle elementary children as well)

Algebra Unplugged ► Amdahl, Kenn/Loats, Jim 1995 Algebra

Calculus by and for Young People by Don Cohen – Yes, some of the activities in this book are accessible to children as young as 7 or 8 years of age, goes up to high school level activities

Calculus for Cats by Kenn Amdahl, calculus concepts made accessible to middle school on up.nov

Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman - a novel

Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra by MBW Tent, nicely written biography of Noether, a remarkable woman mathematician

Five Equations that Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics ► by Guillen, Michael (told in story-like text) accessible to upper middle school / HS, I really liked this one

Gelfand Algebra (also college)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid ► Hofstadter, Douglas R. – Advanced but an interested child can read it, more for adults, math in many contexts, Pulitzer Price Winner Classic (also college/adult level)

The Journey of Al & Gebra to the Land of Algebra by Bethanie H. Tucker, a little contrived, but two of my kids have enjoyed the book

The Joy of Mathematics: Discovering Mathematics All Around You and More Joy of Mathematics ► Pappas, Theoni - Math vignettes in nature/science/art,music,history,literature - classic – all ages can enjoy this one at various levels of understanding.

The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures ►► Tahan, Malba, Chapter book, loosely based on the story of Khayyam, some stories are accessible especially if read aloud with younger children, but portions are advanced and has very wide age appeal. An all-time math reader favorite.

The Manga Guide to Calculus by Hiroyuki Kojima

Marvels of Math: Fascinating Reads and Awesome Activities by Kendall Haven. Algebra among other math and science ideas covered.

Math for Smarty Pants, a Brown Paper School book by Marilyn Burns – this one is for approximately 4rd grade on up. TONS of different math ideas in this.

Math Smart Junior: Grade School Math Made Easy (Princeton Review Smart Jr. Guides) ► Lerner, Marcia Princeton Review, 1995 dumb name but great story math book for upper elem, my son read this repeatedly, multi concepts - the latter portion of the book gets into algebra in a story context

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor (3rd Edition) ► , by Harold Jacobs, subtitled, "A Book for Those Who Think They Don't Like the Subject: (also college/adult) - pretty close to a "living" textbook

Murderous Maths (don’t forget the ‘s’) ► All by Kjartan Poskitt, Guaranteed to contain no nasty exercises and no boring sums! These are meaty books and adults that enjoy comics could enjoy them too. “The Phantom X ” deals with algebra, “The Fiendish Angletron ” is trigonometry.

Prof. E McSquared's Calculus Primer: Expanded Intergalactic Version by Swann & Johnson – Pretty advanced, but some in middle school level can enjoy the graphic novel / comic format

Realm of Algebra by Isaac Asimov, wonderfully conversational writing about algebra, I agree with Amazon reviewers that it is the best of its kind.

Trigonometry the Easy Way , Downing, Douglas, story version of the subject, not bad although a bit contrived

College / Adult

Who Is Fourier?: A Mathematical Adventure Various authors

Calculus Made Easy  by Silvanus Phillips Thompson, a classic, get the edition with forward by Martin Gardner

Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach by Morris Kline – I really like this book, email the publisher and they will send you an answer key to the problem sets

Playing with Infinity: Mathematical Explorations and Excursions by Rózsa Péter – Very nice book! Starts at the beginning with addition concepts building up to infinity. Nice explanation of negative numbers.

Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra by John Derbyshire

Non-Traditional Teaching/Learning Resources

Algebra Out Loud: Learning Mathematics Through Reading and Writing Activities

Algebra Activities from Many Cultures by Beatrice Lumpkin

Hands On Equations - see description and review.