Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity, by Arundhati Venkatesh, is the first in the series titled ‘Great Minds at Work’. The book is a comical tale about the childhood of Srinivasa Ramanujan fondly known as Ramanju among his friends. The boy with a unique fascination for mathematical puzzles and equations. This boy later turned out to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.
The book Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity by Arundhati Venkatesh covers the story of a young boy Ramanju who had almost no formal training in pure mathematics. Yet he made substantial contributions to mathematics with his number theory, infinite series, analysis, and continued fractions. He provided solutions to mathematical problems that were considered unsolvable at that time.
The Book Blurb- Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity
Srinivasa Ramanujan wants to go to school in Kumbakonam only to do maths but his class has no maths teacher this year. Instead, there is a series of substitutes making the boys do strange exercises like measuring milk, lifting iron ingots, jumping from one island to another, and frying fish. Ramanujan wants no part in it, but he and his team, the Kumbakonam Krackerjacks are drawn into a challenge with the Triumphant Trio-and in any maths challenge, Ramanujan has to win!
Filled with rollicking humor, puns, and puzzles, this meticulously researched novel describes the childhood of one of the world’s greatest mathematicians in a vividly imagined historical setting. Priya Kuriyan’s joyful illustrations capture his daily life in striking detail. The Great Minds at Work series looks at the childhoods of people who made history against the backdrop of the times and places they grew up in.
About the Book – Ramanujan by Arundhati Venkatesh
- BOOK TITLE: Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity (Great Minds at Work Series)
- LANGUAGE: English
- TYPE: Paperback
- PAGE LENGTH : 160 pages
- READING AGE: 10 years and up
- PUBLISHER: Duckbill (10 October 2022)
The author, Arundhati Venkatesh went to school in five towns and worked in four continents. Everywhere, she made up stories. Now she puts them down on paper. When she is not cooking up stories or dreaming of food, she haunts bookstores and libraries in Bangalore.
Book Review: Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity: From Zero to Infinity
The book Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity by Arundhati Venkatesh introduces the genius mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan to young readers. It’s a tale of a young Ramanju who finds himself with a slew of substitute math teachers who make him and his friends undergo a series of strange challenges such as frying fish, lifting iron bars, and measuring milk to challenge their math skills.
It is not just a story about Ramanjun but the friendship and rivalry of six classmates. Who compete with each other on various challenges their new maths teachers set out for them. Three of them were good friends Ramanju, Jambu, and Nachu. Nachu or Narasimhan was the worrier who always fretted to pass the class. Jambu or Jambulingam was tall, strong, and had a can-do-it attitude. And Ramanju or Ramanjun was the shortest, plumpest, and youngest in his class, yet was very genius with numbers. Understanding the genius of the young mathematician is one particular challenge that stands out. The one involving measuring milk where even though Ramanju wins it. Though he realizes that there’s more than one way to arrive at a solution.
This is our second read by the Author, the first one was Junior Kumbhakarna which was also a unique take. So before reading this book on Ramanujan, I was expecting it to have a unique take too. but it turned out to be unexpectedly funny. She has done a great job of conveying the excitement, sentiments, and passion of the young boy who loved finding patterns in numbers.
Things I liked about the book
It’s an out-and-out humorous tale for kids to get encouraged by the story of Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity. Apart from that I liked the –
- Unexpectedly funny take to hold the interest of middle-grade fiction readers.
- Cute Illustrations of the little characters are delightful and grow in our minds.
- Little puzzles and riddles after every few pages make the story fun and engaging.
- The ‘Afterword‘ at the end of the book highlights some of the not-so-known details of Ramanujan
If your kid loves the subject or is on the fence about mathematics, read this book to them. The puns in this book will introduce them to the funnier side of mathematics to connect and learn the subject.
You can buy the book from Amazon here.*
My Rating is 4/5 Stars
My 6-year-old son had a delightful time reading this book. Apart from the amusing story, he loved most of the maths puzzles shared in the book and kept asking us and his friends about them.
We look forward to reading the forthcoming books in this Great Minds at Work series, which aims to look at the childhoods of the people who made history against the backdrop of the time and places they grew up in.
A comical childhood tale of the man who gave Mathematics its infinite series!— Gunjan Gupta Upadhyay (@GunjanGUpadhyay) February 16, 2023
Book 12: Ramanujan: From Zero To Infinity
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