Don’t judge a book by its cover or in this case its title. What in principle sounds like quite a dry and potentially dull subject is brought alive through interesting, relevant and fun facts. In a world dominated by computers and technology this book helps readers of all ages understand a bit more about them, the role they play and how numbers are the foundation of pretty much everything.
The book delivers exactly what it promises. The one-hundred bite-size facts invite readers to dip in-and-out of the book at their leisure and cover all manner of things. Each fact is readily accessible and many are accompanied with interesting backstories and real-world examples. The colourful pages are eye-catching, visually appealing and everything is explained in a clear and concise manner. Pages are a mixture of historical stories, mind-boggling numbers and statistics, cracking computers, incredible inventions, minor mishaps, brilliant (and bad) bots, marvellous mathematics, famous faces, tremendous technology of the past, present and future, and plenty of other things.
Some of my favourites facts included the American president and a very important ‘biscuit’, the potential for books growing on trees, a seventy-five-year-old causing an international internet crisis and what happens when computers go wrong and there are technological glitches with examples including the early release of prisoners, a misdirected rocket launch, the almost catastrophic start of World War III and living people wrongly declared dead.
Back-matter includes a visual timeline detailing the progression of numbers and computing from 2,500 years ago to 2009 (seems a bit of an odd place to stop given that the book was published in 2018), a detailed glossary, an index and a weblink to find out more.
An enjoyable and entertaining read.
Recommended for 8+.