In March 2010, I moved to Tokyo to follow my wife Karen, after she landed an amazing job teaching English at a top-notch Japanese university. As an unemployed house-husband living in a new country, I wondered how I could best apply my passion and experience to contribute to society.

Five years later, I published a novel about an insecure teenager named Bethany, who commits herself to pursuing the crazy and unrealistic goal of representing her country at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Along with the support of innovative mentors, combined with her own relentless perseverance, Bethany discovers a roller-coaster life filled with meaning, purpose, and joy.

Mathematics has changed my life - it has brought me opportunities and privileges beyond my wildest dreams, and through my journey of studying this subject, I have found a deep clarity of purpose, discovering the arena in which I can serve society and live life to the full.

It is this journey that I hope to share in The Math Olympian, with the hope of inspiring tens of thousands of young people with the message that with inspired teaching and mentorship, anyone can succeed in mathematics and develop the confidence, creativity, and critical-thinking skills so essential in life.

Chapter 1 of The Math Olympian (free e-download)

Questions for Book Clubs reading The Math Olympian

Q&A with the Author

Glossary of Terms found in The Math Olympian


Reviews of The Math Olympian from Mathematics Educators

"Anyone who has ever felt intimidated by math will appreciate the skillful way Hoshino weaves creative problem solving into a compelling narrative. The heartbeat of Bethany's story and the thrill of engaging in competition ignite the pages with energy... The novel is organized in such a way as to create a welcoming path for math enthusiasts as well as readers who are not mathematically minded, making this an ideal text adoption for any secondary reader, regardless of their level of math understanding".
      - Excerpt from Training Mathletes through The Math Olympian, a book chapter by Calle Friesen and Sheila Remington Jones.

"Don't be misled, however, into thinking that this is principally a problem-solving book in disguise. It is a novel detailing how an esteem-challenged teenager, through diligence, support and serendipity, becomes a star at math contests. One reads not only about how the world of mathematics is opened up to her, but also about Bethany's normal experiences as a young person, including the complexity of teenage relationships, overcoming her anxieties, and overall, navigating the challenges of growing up"
      - Excerpt from a review published in the Canadian Mathematical Society Notes, by Marc Chamberland.

"What makes the book exceptional, though, is the diverse picture it paints of great math mentoring, and the emphasis on what really matters in mathematics: not the contests, it turns out, but the work of doing math itself. A wonderful book to read, especially for math teachers and mentors interested in improving their math-educational craft."
      - Excerpt from a review published on the Math For Love website, by Dan Finkel.

"Just as Bethany MacDonald discovers the splendour and essence of mathematics, so will readers of this book... Through Bethany, The Math Olympian gives mathematics a human face: a face that is hardly dull. Many readers, not only female high school students with a passion for mathematics, would find this book not only very readable but interesting and inspiring."
      - Excerpt from a review published in the British Columbia Association of Math Teachers magazine, by Michele Roblin.

"Overall, Richard Hoshino has provided an important contribution to math educators and should be applauded for this book. The spirit it brings makes it an excellent enrichment prospect for high school students. It is well suited to school libraries, a classroom bookshelf, and as a potential motivational gift for students who deserve special treatment."
      - Excerpt from a review published in the Ontario Mathematics Gazette, by Tim Sibbald.


Reviews of The Math Olympian on Goodreads