Book Birthday Blitz – Erma Does The Math by Ann Strawn

Today I’m helping celebrate the Book Birthday Blitz for Erma Does The Math by Ann Strawn with a review.. featuring my two girls, Abigail and Georgia who were super excited to read this one!

Here’s the blurb

When Tameka visits her elderly aunt, birthday gift in hand, quirky Aunt Erma puts her to work. As she hangs an old photo Tameka discovers that the women in the picture are 1940’s-era human computers at Langley Jet Propulsion Lab and that her auntie was one of them! She has lots of questions, but Aunt Erma’s price for answers is one math problem each. Tameka keeps up, but the problems get more complex with each question. Remembering the gift, Tameka convinces her auntie to open it. The contents make them both laugh and realize that they’ve learned something about each other.


Erma Does The Math follows a day in the life of Tameka as she visits her elderly aunt. As Tameka helps her aunt you learn about Erma’s past and her skill as a human computer.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this book was simply about maths.. and for the most part the words are.. you learn how how much we rely on technology these days to solve our problems and you really see Erma’s love for maths but it’s another message within the story that my two girls really picked up on as Erma explains to Tameka about segregation.

This started some wonderful conversations with my daughters, helping me understand what they have learned themselves so far at school, They talked to me about Rosa Parks, and how they don’t believe it’s fair people are treated differently due to skin colour which was lovely to hear.

We also talked about space rockets and Neil Armstrong, prompted in the book by some discussions questions, the first being what would you take to space with you. Abi was very certain she needed her toothbrush, food and drink while Georgia settled on apples, humus and pencils,  both agreed whatever they took would float away.

The book also had us talking about how we communicate, in that we use computers so much these days but at one point these were created, at some-point language itself was created and this got us onto sign language and the girls had fun explaining what they have learned at school and I manged to remember how to sign my name for them.

Erma Does The Math is a very easy book to read and certainly packs a punch when it comes to meaning and discussion. It turned out to be one of the best talks I’ve had with the girls.

Thoroughly recommend 5*

My thanks go to the author, publisher and Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me an eArc for my girls to read and review.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Author Bio –

Ann Strawn lives in Renton Washington with her husband of 34 years, daughter and family dog. She makes her living as a middle school science teacher and truly enjoys the company of kids and teens. She considers her job total immersion training for writing her middle grade novels, THE DOWNLOAD and THE UPDATE.

Ann’s most current project is a picture book about her great aunt Erma Tynes Walker who was a human computer at Langley Airforce Base. Besides writing Ann also enjoys crochet and just hanging out with her family.

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