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G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book Hardcover – September 1, 1998


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G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book + Q Is for Quark: A Science Alphabet Book + The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883672589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883672584
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-An enchanting alphabet book that will make its audience laugh out loud. Beginning with "A is for Abacus" and ending with "Z is for Zillion," the author takes readers on a roller-coaster ride through important terms and concepts. The text is lively and clear and will appeal to even those who think math is as dull as the kitchen floor. Two particularly clever examples are "R is for Rhombicosidodecahedron" and "W is for 'When are we ever gonna use this stuff, anyway?'" The cartoon illustrations are colorful, amusing, and informative. Young people will relate to the characters in these drawings that lend a visual dimension to the text. They will also appreciate the large, spacious pages. A terrific title to instruct and entertain.
Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5. This large-format alphabet book introduces terms and ideas from mathematics, with (usually) one topic per letter. Entries include abacus, binary, cubit, diamond ("There are no diamonds in math. We put diamond in this book so you would know it doesn't belong here"), equilateral, exponent, Fibonacci, googol, y-axis, and zillion. The humorous style Schwartz brought to How Much Is a Million? lightens the reading here, and so do the bright watercolor-washed drawings and cartoons by Marissa Moss, author-illustrator of the Amelia's Notebook series. Still, it's hard to understand why the information, however well presented, appears in an alphabet book. The alphabetical theme makes the arrangement of ideas a haphazard, arbitrary affair. Nevertheless, the attractive book may interest browsers and open doors to further math study. Also, this resource explains terms like binary system and Fibonacci numbers in ways that middle-grade children might understand. Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

With the same energy, humor and clarity found in his 50 books, David wows audiences at schools around the United States and beyond. David is an accomplished storyteller and a master at getting kids to think and have fun at the same time. His presentations lead children on entertaining and educational journeys that combine math, science, reading and writing. David also gives keynote presentations and workshops for educators at professional conferences.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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When I was 10 or 11 or 12 I read this book and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Jill
Don't let the ABC picture book concept fool you, this book was designed with the help of 4th-6th grade students and teachers.
"rellielou"
This book doesn't teach you anything you HAVE to know, just lots of interesting things that make math fun.
M. Christensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"G is for Google" explains complex math concepts in a palatable format. From "abacus" to "zillion," detailed descriptions are combined with fun cartoons and illustrations that bring math concepts down to earth. Even adults can learn a thing or two from this book: for instance, how the German city of Konigsberg, with its seven bridges, came to demonstrate the network theory. How many grown-ups really know the quantity of a google, the two ways of writing a google, and how this number got the name "google" in the first place?
Armed with this book, I was finally able to answer some of my son's questions, such as "what comes after a trillion?" Answer: a quadrillion, a quintillion, a sextillion, and so forth. This information is filed under "z is for zillion," where it is explained that a zillion is not a real number, but merely means "a lot." (One of many math myths dispelled in the book.) Some other terms that are explained include: "fibonacci," "exponent," and "probability," as well as the less intimidating "jupiter" and "diamond."
While the alphabet format is more conducive to browsing than reference, there is a glossary of math terms in the back of the book. "G is for Google" is primarily for ages nine and up, although some younger children who are particularly interested or gifted in math may benefit.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M. Christensen on December 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First off, be aware that google is the internet search site, NOT a mathematical term. A googol is, though, and it is a 1 followed by 100 zeros, which happens to be a number larger than the number of grains of sand on the earth. This book is interesting stuff!

I took a chance on ordering it because I had never heard of it before but it intrigued me. For each letter of the alphabet, a mathematical term (or two) is defined. It's fun, mathematical terms are clearly explained and some of the letters give you go-along activities.

I've been reading this aloud to my kids (ages 8 & 10) and they enjoy it. I even learned some new things, and I have a degree in mechanical engineering (which requires a lot of upper level math.) Your kids don't have to be gifted in math to enjoy this one. Some of the topics are A is for Abacus, B is for Binary (great explanation!), C is for cubit, D is for Diamond, E is for equilateral and exponent, F is for Fibonacci and G is for Googol. If you don't know what those mean, you'd better get the book!

Even if my 8 yo doesn't remember what an exponent is, she may remember them when she comes to them again and it won't be so intimidating. The more explanations the better, right? This book doesn't teach you anything you HAVE to know, just lots of interesting things that make math fun. Maybe that makes it more interesting - because you don't have to know it.

I caught my 10 yo teaching my 8 yo how to make a mobius strip and what it was. I had to say, "HEY! Have you been reading ahead without me?!" He sheepishly admitted it, but it was so interesting he just had to!

I would say this is probably good for 3rd or 4th grade and up. A younger age could understand some of the topics, but some of the math topics require a bit higher order thinking.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Dees on September 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At her Montessori preschool, my daughter loved only math "work," mastering the binomial and trinomial cubes early on. At 5, as we began homeschooling, her reading level exploded and she fell in love with words. Unlike "hands-on" math, she had no interest in arithmetic or pages of problems. She's a highly gifted, visual-spatial learner who also reads rapidly and at a high level. Now, at 8, I present her with "literary math," books with mathematical concepts and lots of words and pictures. This book is one of the best examples of that genre. When I handed it to my daughter, she eagerly began flipping through the pages, then scanned the table of contents. "V is for Venn diagram!" she said happily. "I LOVE Venn diagrams!" She read everything about them and studied the amusing pictures in detail. Then she began to describe aspects of her life to us in Venn diagrams. So it has gone with the rest of this book, which I highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lorel Shea VINE VOICE on May 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
David Schwartz is brilliant! In G is for Googol, he brings together a wealth of mathematical information for strong independent readers. A is for abacus, F is for Fibonacci, and K is for Konigsburg! If you don't know how to pronounce rhombicosidodecahedron, don't dispair! Schwartz will show you how, and his entertaining and informative book will keep inquisitive kids enthralled for hours!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "rellielou" on January 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My son is seven and working his way through 5th grade math. This book reviewed some concepts for him and introduced him to others. He thought it was fascinating! There's a lot of information packed into these pages, and the author delivers it all in a very entertaining manner. Don't let the ABC picture book concept fool you, this book was designed with the help of 4th-6th grade students and teachers. I give it five stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jarik25 on April 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love math, and while it appears to be a kiddy book, for math. It can be used by anyone who is kind of interested in learning random math facts. This book is coloful and entertaining. I like how it lists linking words with the letters by saying,"A is for Abacus: arc, architecture, area, acute ,and angle." If I ever have kids or start to teach, I will teach them the alphabet this way.
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