The Number Devil

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner (illustrator), Michael Henry Heim (translator)

Book cover of The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

Book description

Twelve-year-old Robert hates his maths teacher: he sets his class boring problems and won't let them use their calculators. Then in his dreams Robert meets the Number Devil, who brings the subject magically to life, illustrating with wit and charm a world in which numbers can amaze and fascinate, where…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked The Number Devil as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Among my children’s bedtime stories The Number Devil was a favourite. It’s about a boy who finds his school maths lesson dull and pointless. One night in his dreams he gets visited by the Number Devil, who introduces him to the astonishing patterns to be found in numbers. By making the lead character a maths-sceptic, the author carries the reader along so that we are all drawn into the hidden beauty of mathematics. The book has wonderful colour illustrations, which adds to its charm. Parents love it too.

This is a higher reading level than the other books on this list, but it’s SO worth it. A bizarre creature drags a math-hating kid on a transformative adventure in the world of numbers. It’s all here: prime numbers, number patterns, even my beloved Fibonacci. The illustrations are beautiful, and the writing lighthearted and lovely. The author is a famous German poet who, as far as I know, has only written this one for kids. We’re lucky he did.

Want books like The Number Devil?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The Number Devil.

Browse books like The Number Devil

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dreams, math, and Europe?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dreams, math, and Europe.

Dreams Explore 56 books about dreams
Math Explore 257 books about math
Europe Explore 905 books about Europe