BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder

Housekeeper and the ProfessorThe eponymous Housekeeper’s birthdate is February 20, or written out, 220. The said Professor wears a prize watch inscribed with “President’s Prize No. 284.” Together, 220 and 284 are amicable numbers. And with that coincidence, the Housekeeper and the Professor begin their amicable relationship … over and over again.

For the Professor, still a mathematical genius, time stopped back in 1975 as a result of a terrible car accident, and since then, he has only an 80-minute memory. The Housekeeper must re-establish their relationship every morning when she arrives for work. And in time, her son, whom the Professor nicknames “Root” because his 10-year-old head with its flat top repeatedly reminds the Professor of a square root sign, makes the improbable duo an even more surprising trio.

This is one of those rare stories that you can’t put down without a lovely, heartfelt sigh. It’s a quietly lingering tale of how families can happen in the most unlikely ways … and how numbers can solve even the most daunting challenges. Keep a watch out for numbers 28 and 11, too …

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2009 (United States)



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