Annika loves numbers.
Annika and her friends each have their own special talents, and Annika’s is math. She looks forward to math class the way Kelsey loves reading and Izzy loves running. But while Annika likes reading and physical exercise, her buddies hate math. When others in the class do not know an answer or are daydreaming, Annika side-whispers the answer to help them out of a bind. Annika and fellow third-grade math whiz Simon are excited to learn that the library is running a sudoku contest, and Annika sets out to practice as much as she can. Mills keeps the situations light and amusing, inviting readers into Annika’s number-filled house, where the tablecloth is printed with numbers and the magnets on the refrigerator are numbers and even the dog is named Prime, and introducing them to Mr. Boone, the overenthusiastic principal who takes a seat in the carnival dunking booth. Shepperson’s black-and-white drawings extend the text nicely; kids will chuckle at the kitchen chaos as the girls make cookies for the bake sale and at the interruption-hating Mrs. Molina as she tries to control math class. Math lessons are embedded gracefully into the plot, making it an easy tie-in for teachers looking for accessible real-world math problems.
For number lovers and phobics alike—this bighearted series has something for everyone. (Fiction. 7-10)