The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity +Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to share The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan by Amy Alznauer, and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. This picture book biography begins with stirring words — ones which feel especially meaningful given our current situation:

“Today the world is small. With a single click, you can see anywhere or speak to anyone. 

But one hundred years ago, the world was big. It took weeks to send a letter by steamer from here all the way to there.”

Set in India in the late 1800s, this glorious picture book shares the true story of a young mathematical genius named Ramanujan who searches for secrets hidden inside numbers. Along the way, he discovers formulas and numerical patterns, and even devises his own mathematical symbols.

As a science/math person who often writes on STEM topics, I know how challenging it is to convey complex topics to young readers. But Amy does it beautifully. (She teaches math at Northwestern University, so she certainly knows what she’s talking about!) 

I especially enjoy how the text describes the way Ramanujan pondered math topics such as infinite series, number partitions, and prime numbers. For example, check out how he conveys the concept of infinity in a way young readers can easily understand:

A mango . . . is just one thing. But if I chop it in two, then chop the half in two, and keep on chopping, I get more and more bits, on and on, endlessly, to an infinity I could never ever reach.”

Filled with rich, detailed illustrations, this book is truly lovely to behold. And perhaps just as lovely is it’s journey to publication which began when Amy entered this story in the 2015 SCBWI-Illinois Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship contest and won. This mentorship was established in memory of picture book author Laura Crawford, an enthusiastic and beloved member of my Illinois SCBWI chapter, and a friend of mine for years. Laura generously helped other writers on their publishing journeys, so I know she would have loved how her mentorship has helped Amy and other authors. 

After winning the contest Amy was paired with mentor, Esther Hershenhorn, the Illinois Chapter’s Regional Advisor for seventeen years (earning her the title “Regional Advisor Emeritus!”) Among the many hats Esther wears, she is a top-notch writing coach. During the mentorship, Esther worked with Amy about six months on her story.

Their collaboration resulted in a very happy ending — a contract with Candlewick Press, and a charming, clever picture book biography that will inspire young readers.

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan is Amy’s first book. It releases April 14. Woo hoo!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   Book Giveaway   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

Leave a comment or question on this post for a chance to win your own copy of The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity!

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating historical figures. Recent books include: A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, The Daring Dozen, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie, Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, Dangerous Jane, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, The Inventor’s Secret, and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Coming soon -- SWISH! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters (Little, Brown), MARS IS, and TBA titles from Calkins Creek, Peachtree, and Sleeping Bear Press. Learn more about Suzanne and her books at: www.suzanneslade.com

31 Comments:

  1. The book looks great! Looking forward to reading it with my twins!

  2. Fascinating topic! Looking forward to reading this book!

  3. Avatar
    Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Wow! Looks like a fantastic book! Can’t wait to get hold of copy to read it!

  4. What a beautiful book! And, I’ve been looking for more representation of Indians in my middle school library. I really love picture books with complex stories such as this one. Perfect for my middle grade readers. Thanks for the review!
    Ms. Slade, what’s next from your pen? Enquiring readers want to know 😉

  5. From these examples you can tell this is really beautiful writing.
    and the art is so soft and lovely.

  6. What a wonderful story of keep putting one foot in front of the other until you reach your goal. Congratulations!

  7. Love the soft colors! Really looking forward to getting to hold this book in my hands to read it when it comes out.

  8. Sounds like a great book! The illustrations look positively dreamy.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful story with stunning illustrations. I look forward to reading it.

  10. This looks so good! Can’t wait to read it!

  11. I am fascinated by the subject material. Future mathematicians, scientists etc. will adore this title. Can’t wait to see the illustrations up close. Daniel Miyares is a wonder!

  12. I am fascinated by the subject material. Future mathematicians, scientists etc. will adore this title. I am in awe of the illustrations. Daniel Miyares is a wonder!

  13. Congratulations to Amy! Her book looks terrific! Can’t wait to read–and savor–it.

  14. That one mango to infinite mango bits is brilliant! What a great way to explain complex concepts to young kids.

  15. Congratulations to Amy! It looks like an interesting and beautiful book. I look forward to reading it!

  16. Avatar
    Jilanne Hoffmann

    I love the use of light in the illustrations. Truly luminous. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks!

  17. I am really looking forward to reading this beautiful book!

  18. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to read it.

  19. Avatar
    Carole Calladine

    Thanks for sharing. This looks like a keeper.

  20. Amy and Esther, what a gorgeous book! Congratulations!

  21. Avatar
    Lynne Marie Pisano

    Such a wonderful collaboration — wishing you both all the best of success! Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  22. Such beautiful, poetic language! Can’t wait to read it!

  23. I am always so impressed with people who are able to break down complicated subjects for the rest of us to understands.

  24. It looks like a beautiful story.

  25. Michelle Meadows
    Michelle Meadows

    Beautiful illustrations. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Such lush illustrations! Sounds marvelous.

  27. When I saw this book mentioned in PW, I began to drool. I want this sooooo bad!

  28. This looks wonderful. I’m excited to check it out!

  29. I will be watching/requesting this one–when our library opens again. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.

  30. Suzanne, this book looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  31. Thanks for the giveaway, looks like a good book!

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