Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths

We review the first of this year’s nominees for the Book of the Year


Maisie Chan is a British Chinese author who lives in Glasgow. Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths (Amazon UK, Waterstones) is a book that tells the story of a maths-skeptic boy whose grandmother (or Nai Nai) comes to live with him.

[Note: Danny Chung Sums It Up is the American title of the same book.]


At the start of the book, Danny Chung likes drawing and doesn’t like maths. When his Chinese-speaking maths-loving Nai Nai comes to live with him, he slowly starts to realise how wrong he was about maths, as well as how wrong he was to not want Nai Nai to stay with his family. It’s a well-written and enjoyable children’s book.


While this book is primarily a story book, there is some maths in it. The main mathematical content revolves around Danny having to do a maths project. With Nai Nai’s help, he uses his love of drawing to do a project about Fibonacci numbers and golden spirals.


As Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths is a children’s book, it will be most enjoyed by children, or adults reading it with a child. It would be most suitable for older primary-aged children, and is the kind of book that might tease out an interest in maths from a child who hasn’t found one yet.


I’d strongly recommend this book to any relative of a 7-10 year old, and I’m looking forward to reading it again with my nieces in a few years’ time.


You can vote for your favourite book on the Book of the Year shortlist below. The winning book will be crowned the Chalkdust Readers’ Choice. Voting closes at 5pm (BST) on Saturday 16 April.

What is your favourite book on the 2021 Book of the Year shortlist?

  • Maths Tricks to Blow Your Mind by Kyle D Evans (50%, 11 Votes)
  • How To Think About Abstract Algebra by Lara Alcock (23%, 5 Votes)
  • Math Without Numbers by Milo Beckman (9%, 2 Votes)
  • Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths by Maisie Chan (9%, 2 Votes)
  • How to Read Numbers by Tom Chivers & David Chivers (5%, 1 Votes)
  • Weirdest Maths by David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee (5%, 1 Votes)
  • At Sixes and Sevens by Rachel Riley (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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