Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review: Zero the Hero

The timing couldn't have been more perfect. It was zero hour for kinder math class recess. (Just wrapping up our math session!) The mail arrived with a copy of Zero the Hero. I called my kiddos back to gather around for a reading before they left. My mail boy, a 4th grader, sat nearby working on an iPad. I plunged in to read. One of my kinders started laughing at the story. An infectious laugh. This little guy regularly runs around, pretending to be a superhero saying, "I'm Super Sammy 2.0!" He LOVES a story with a superhero as a main character. Meanwhile, my 4th grader started smirking and began looking less interested in the iApp he was using. He chuckled. Then laughed. Then edged closer to enjoy the book. And no wonder...

Zero the Hero makes me want to leap from a tall building crying, "Super Cindy 2.0!" It's a tale of Zero, who truly feels like nothing. He doesn't get included in counting. When added or subtracted from another number, nothing happens. Numbers refuse to be divided by him. And when he multiplies a number, terrible things happen.

So Zero rolls away.

But when Roman Numerals come to town, the other numbers are in trouble. Zero must return and unleash his powers in order to save the counting numbers.

I feel like this book packed a lot of punch. In addition to the tale of Zero's redemption, there are many teachable math moments:
  • what happens when you add zero to a number?
  • what happens when you subtract zero from a number?
  • divide zero?
  • multiply zero?
  • and what are Roman Numerals anyway...and why don't they know about Zero?
My kinders definitely didn't get all the mathematical content, but they laughed and laughed over the storyline. My 4th grader couldn't resist all the word play scattered throughout the book. ("You were ONEderful! 4 He's a jolly good fellow! High 5! 3 Cheers!") And personally? I was intrigued by the endless mathematical teaching possibilities.

Bottom line? There is ZERO chance that you won't enjoy this book. :)

Check back in for an upcoming giveaway of Zero the Hero from the author, Joan Holub! And visit her website for related Zero the Hero fun!

P.S. Just checked Amazon and noticed that this book is on a phenomenal sale at the moment.

Disclosure: I received a review copy with no promise of a positive review...or a promise of any review at all, for that matter! :) Any purchases made through the Amazon link will result in a small commission (at no cost to you) which will be given to Grace and Hope, providing foster care for children in China. Thanks!

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