Book Review: Annika Riz Math Whiz + Giveaway

Book Review: Annika Riz Math Whiz + GiveawayAnnika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills
Published by Macmillan on May 13th 2014
Pages: 128
Buy on Amazon

Annika Riz loves math more than anything, so when she hears about a sudoku contest at the local public library, she is determined to win it—maybe then her friends Kelsey Green and Izzy Barr will see that math is just as cool as reading and running. When the school carnival, the biggest fundraiser of the year, comes around, Annika realizes her class booth is losing money by selling their lemonade too cheaply. Annika embraces her math skills, saves the day, and shows her friends that math can be useful and even a bit of fun, too.

Annika Riz is a math whiz, only her friends cannot stand math class. When a sudoku contest comes to the library, she knows that she can prove to her friends that math can be cool if she wins. I completely connected with Annika, having loved math when I was in elementary and middle school. I also grew up with a math family, only not to the extreme of having numerical decorations all over her house. I love the mix of baking and how it connects to math in this story. I think anyone who has messed up a batch of cookies will laugh at the several attempts the girls make at making them for their school carnival.

I also love the point the teacher makes towards the end of the book, that everyone shows their enthusiasm in different ways. I think this relates to every part of the story as Annika laments that her friends don’t appreciate the thing she loves as much as she does. Even worse, they dread learning math.

One of my other favorite parts of this book was when Annika tried to teach her dog how to count with the aide of dog treats. She often gave him the reward even when he did not bark or tap his paw the correct amount of times. Overall, I really loved this story and I think young readers will relate to their own favorite topic of learning, even if it’s not math.


The Franklin School Friends is definitely a series I will be recommending to my 3rd graders.


Claudia Mills, Philosophy photo by: Larry HarwoodClaudia Mills is the acclaimed author of fifty early-chapter and middle-grade books, including 7 x 9 = Trouble!, How Oliver Olson Changed the World, and Zero Tolerance. Claudia was a professor of philosophy for over twenty years at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received many teaching awards, before leaving the university to write full time. She has two sons. To learn more, visit her website at
Check out the downloadable curriculum guide for the Franklin School Friends here!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of the first two books in the Franklin School Friends series–KELSEY GREEN, READING QUEEN (paperback) and ANNIKA RIZ, MATH WHIZ (hardcover). U.S. addresses only.


 KELSEY GREEN cover (2)  ANNIKA RIZ cover (3)

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Ends June 13th.

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13 responses to “Book Review: Annika Riz Math Whiz + Giveaway

  1. It wasn’t until I was at TLA this year that I realized Reading Queen was going to evolve into a series. I like how the author took on math next. Very interested in reading this next book. Loved RQ!

  2. anne

    This delightful book would be a wonderful and ideal story for my grandson. What a wonderful giveaway and feature. I look forward to this unique and special series.

  3. I have been eyeing this book for a few weeks so I appreciate the review. My son loves math — so my question is — do you think this book can be enjoyed by BOTH boys and girls since the main character is a girl?

    • Cassie, there are two boy characters in the book: Simon Ellis, who is good at everything, and Cody Harmon, who struggles with schoolwork but has a big heart and sense of fun. Each of them will get his own book in the series, as books four and five. So I hope boys might like Kelsey’s and Annika’s books, too.

  4. These books sound as if they are easy to read and sneak in great moral points, while also entertaining the reader. Sometimes children don’t always respect one another in their various interests and these books, in their subtlety may help decrease bullying.

  5. This looks like a fun series. I am a bibliophile myself and got into accounting clerk duties and editing for work so these books appeal to the kid in me.

  6. Marci Wright

    This sounds like a book that my son would really enjoy! I would also like to add that I have just discovered your site from a post on twitter & I am in book lovers’ heaven… this site is awesome!!

  7. Merry

    This sounds like an interesting series that my kids would love reading and turning lots of pages for sure!

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