This is a great book to spark discussion of how we use math in our everyday lives. In the story, all the numbers completely vanish one day, leaving "numberless problems!" Some things the residents can no longer do: play sports (can't keep score), no TV channels, can't address a letter, have a birthday . . . and the list goes on and on. Of course, the detective DOES track down the number thief (who just wanted to make the longest number in the world!) and gets the numbers back.
I am using Missing Math this week, the first week with students, and have written a prompt for them to respond to in their interactive math notebooks. Knowing what a challenge it can be for some new third graders to copy a prompt, I have typed it up and they will glue it to the top of their page. You are welcome to have a copy of my page if it would be useful to you. Just click to download.