Gritty, Real-World Math Book

Sometimes children wonder if they are ever going to use the skills and concepts they are learning in school. Launch a Rocket into Space (You Do the Math) by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills goes a long way to help answer that lingering question by showing children important real-world applications for math.


“Hi, my name is Michael and I’m an astronaut.”

So starts a journey into space that uses math at every step of the way. Michael helps the reader compete the math exercises while guiding a younger female trainee. Together they learn about everything from fractions to timelines. The first activity involves evaluating data about astronaut candidates to select those that fit the height, age and eyesight criteria. A few problems will require a protractor to measure angles.

Although the illustrations are often set up in panels with conversation bubbles like cartoons, the graphic-style illustrations are bold and serious, not lighthearted. They are likely to appeal to visual-learners and reluctant readers, as well as fans of serious nonfiction.

Launch a Rocket into Space is perfect for homeschoolers and after school math clubs because they can be entirely child-directed reading with answers to check in the back.

Read more about it and see a preview at Wrapped in Foil blog.