Lines, Bars and Circles

post written by Emma Filbrun

Lines, Bars and Circles by Helaine BeckerTitle: Lines, Bars and Circles
Author: Helaine Becker
Major Themes: Graphs, Mathematics, Statistics
Synopsis: William Playfair invented graphs when he needed a way to illustrate the data in one of his books.

I was immediately intrigued when I saw Line, Bars and Circles. It had never occurred to me that graphs haven’t always been used! The subtitle, however, describes the book: How William Playfair Invented Graphs. What an interesting story.

After his father’s death, William Playfair, a 12-year-old dreamer and practical jokester, went to live with his older brother, a scientist. It was inevitable that their personalities would clash; William had to become more practical. He became an inventor, but was not practical enough to make a living. However, when he wrote a book, and needed a way to show some information, he drew a picture showing the relationship of the numbers to each other. Voila! The first line graph was made.

This is a wonderful resource to accompany a study of statistics and graphing. I really enjoyed the story behind the ubiquitous graphs we have today.

I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

No warnings! (Except a picture of a practical joke he played; if you have a son who would get bad ideas of putting a frog in his sister’s cereal bowl, you may not want to have this book around.)

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy Lines, Bars and Circles:

Amazon: Hardcover

Book Depository: Hardcover


Graphs, Mathematics, Statistics

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