Biographical anecdotes and folklore combine in these stories about mathematicians. Each story uses an incident, discovery, or other such hook to provide the human dimension to some mathematical idea. For example, we read about Pythagoras paying his first student so that he might have the opportunity to teach, then becoming a popular teacher who had some intriguing ideas about numbers and their relationship to the universe.
Among mathematicians introduced in volume one are Thales, Archimedes, Galileo, Newton, Euler, and Evariste Galois. Math concepts that show up in this volume are geometry, number systems and number theory, algebra, computation and estimation, probability and statistics, measurement, and mathematical symbols.
Volume two introduces Euclid, Descartes, Benjamin Banneker, Albert Einstein, and others touching on geometry, algebra, number systems and theory, probability, calculators and computers, and calculus.
Women in mathematics are featured in both books. Some stories will be appropriate for the elementary grades, while others are better saved for junior and senior high when the concepts are more familiar. Each book is 144 pages long, so there are quite a few stories from which to choose. These books help students relate to math, building a bridge from the world of abstractions to the world of real people.