Answering the question “When will I ever use this?” is much easier when math books for middle school students are great reads that show mathematics in the real world.

Ten math books for middle school students have been declared the 2018 winners of the Mathical Book Prize, given by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, to inspire a love of math in kids’ everyday world. The books recognized are fiction and non-fiction publications of all types that link literature and math. The Institute’s mission is “to advance mathematical research, foster talent, and further the appreciation and understanding of mathematics.”

Five of this year’s award winners for students aged 11-13 are:

Giant Pumpkin Suite

math books for middle schoolWritten by Melanie Heuiser Hill, this is a fictional coming-of-age story about Rose Brutigan. Math becomes a theme as Rose grows seven inches in eight months and becomes even more different from her twin brother, Thomas. He is devoted to growing a giant pumpkin in the neighbor’s yard while Rose concentrates on her music and winning a cello competition. But growth and change challenges Rose throughout the summer and a serious accident is a turning point in this math book for middle school students that tells a story of a community and friendships.