Math Girls

The holiday season approaches and surely you are looking for a new translation of a bestselling young adult novel from Japan which is half adolescent love story and half elementary number theory text.  You’re in luck.  Bento Books sent me a review copy of the book, Math Girls by Hiroshi Yuki (tr. Tony Gonzalez) and by the second chapter the narrative has already addressed not only the fact that 1 is not prime, but the fact that it’s entirely in our hands whether to define 1 to be a prime or not, and why we made the choice we did.  How romantic!

Sample chapters here.


3 thoughts on “Math Girls

  1. Richard Séguin says:

    I checked out the sample and love it! I’m going to recommend this for my niece who might be at the right age. I wonder how boys respond to this book.

  2. Wow, that sounds awesome. (And the first two chapters are awesome!) Pity that it’s only available electronically as an iPad app, though it sounds like they have good reasons for that decision.

  3. Richard: Japan doesn’t really have the “girls don’t do math” vibe that’s frequently encountered in the US, so despite the title the book itself is pretty gender neutral, without the “grrl power” slant that a US book would probably have. The narrator is male, and the “math girls” are the other two points in a love triangle that he finds himself in.

    David: The sample is only available electronically, but the book itself is available on,, and other online booksellers worldwide. Just search for “Math Girls”. =)

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