Books About the Irrational Number Pi for Gifted Children

Help savvy students improve their understanding of the figure

Books about the mathematical constant known as Pi can improve gifted children's understanding of the figure while further piquing their interest in arithmetic. The following books help define Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. They also show readers how Pi can be found pretty much everywhere, namely circles, arcs, gears and pendulums. But this constant also appears in areas not commonly associated with circles, such as music.

The Joy of Pi

The Joy of Pi
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If your teen likes numbers, he might enjoy this book, providing he's not looking for detailed discussion about the mathematics of Pi. Although "The Joy Of Pi" isn't an in-depth look at the figure, the book is an interesting read and doesn't skip over the math behind Pi altogether. It defines Pi and contains formulas for calculating it. The formulas range from simple to complex. While all of the formulas equal Pi, readers have to work to figure out how. 

"The Joy Of Pi" is not meant to be a math text, though. Instead, this fun book is more of a compilation of various facts, stories, poems, limericks, jokes and cartoons about the fascinating number.

You may be familiar with 3.14, but in reality, Pi is pretty much an unending number. How far out do the numbers go? Well, in tiny print, the book tracks the numbers to the one millionth digit. But it has been calculated by computer to eight billion digits. That's one long number!

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Why Pi?

Why Pi?
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This book is about how people through the ages, starting with the Egyptians, have used numbers to measure everything - from pyramids to time and space. And those measurements often involve Pi. The author, Johnny Ball, has won numerous awards and is well-known for making math fun, fascinating and easy to understand. This book is filled with colorful pictures that accompany the facts about numbers and measurements. The book is for kids ages 7 and up, but even adult readers can enjoy learning about the numbers and measurements featured.

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Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi

Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi
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If your child is among those who find numbers fascinating and love working out math problems, this is a great book. And it's all about Pi, one of the most important numbers of all, since it can be found absolutely everywhere, even in the double helix of DNA. This book is full of activities for kids. Among other things, they can learn how to use Pi to figure out their hat size or relate Pi to the alphabet. The book is also full of interesting information about Pi, including the various ways people have calculated it through time.

Parents who homeschool will love this book, too, as it provides some useful instructions for teachers. The author, Naila Bokhari (who among other things is an education consultant for mathematics and gifted education), wrote the book for kids in grades 6-8, but kids who are mathematically gifted might like it at younger ages.

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Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
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This book has something for just about every type of gifted kid. It's about a math concept - Pi - but it's also a fantasy story full of word play. Just look at the name of the title character. The story revolves around a boy (Radius) who needs to find a cure for his father (Sir Cumference), who has been turned into a dragon thanks to a magic potion. But to find the cure, he has to use math. The book helps kids learn about Pi, but even those already familiar will appreciate the story and the beautiful pictures. The book is aimed at kids ages 7 and up, but teachers have also used it with middle schoolers to teach the concept of Pi. Even very young kids who aren't yet reading or ready for Pi may enjoy hearing the story.

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