Exploring the Magic of Math: OUSD Libraries Add Mathical Award Winners to Their Collections


Imagine this: a group of children nestled in cozy corners of the library, their eyes bright with curiosity as they delve into books that not only capture their imaginations but also ignite an interest in mathematics. 

Recently, the Oakland Literacy Coalition had the privilege of processing a remarkable donation from Mathical for OUSD school libraries — a collection of 1,550 books that promise to spark curiosity and foster a deeper appreciation for math among young readers. Volunteers with the OLC’s School Library Partnerships program put in many hours organizing the books and adding barcodes, spine labels, and mylar covers. 

The Mathical Book Prize recognizes math-inspiring literature for kids ages 2-18. Prize-winning books are selected by a committee of teachers, librarians, mathematicians, and others. Each year’s selections join a growing list of stories ranging from picture books and graphic novels to chapter books and young adult literature.

A School Library Journal article about the Mathical Book Prize describes how the right books turn math haters into math lovers: 

 “With titles ranging from picture books to YA novels, the books present mathematical and STEM concepts in a fun, engaging, and accessible way, and many also teach students about historical figures in math and science. Librarians have used Mathical grants to supplement their story times and introduce math lessons, revamp their collections and draw more students to the library.”

Mathical is a collaborative effort between organizations such as the Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the Children’s Book Council (CBC). Together, these entities strive to promote interdisciplinary learning and nurture a lifelong love for reading and mathematics among young learners.

The books were distributed to 55 Title 1 school libraries in Oakland schools, serving a total of 27,240 students from TK through high school. 

The Oakland Literacy Coalition extends heartfelt thanks to Mathical, SLMath, and all the volunteers who contributed to this initiative. The impact of this donation is bound to resonate within Oakland’s school libraries, enriching the lives of young readers and shaping their relationship with math. 

Read more on the Mathical website: Books for Oakland, CA Schools This Spring!

Back to Top