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The Absolute Value of Mike
by Kathryn Erskine

Overview - From the acclaimed author of "Mockingbird" comes a novel about a boy sent to Pennsylvania by his father to work on an engineering project, who finds himself working alongside his wacky aunt, a homeless man, and a punk-rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania.  Read more...

 
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More About The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
 
 
 
Overview
From the acclaimed author of "Mockingbird" comes a novel about a boy sent to Pennsylvania by his father to work on an engineering project, who finds himself working alongside his wacky aunt, a homeless man, and a punk-rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399255052
  • ISBN-10: 0399255052
  • Publisher: Philomel Books
  • Publish Date: June 2011
  • Page Count: 247
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-14


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Humorous Stories
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Multigenerational

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-04-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

Following her National Book Award win for Mockingbird, Erskine tries her hand at comedy with this story of an undervalued boy learning his considerable worth. Mike's father, a math professor, must teach in Romania for six weeks, so he ships his motherless 14-year-old to live with distant relatives and work on an engineering project to improve Mike's chances of getting into a math magnet school. Mike's dyscalculia, a math disability, telegraphs immediately that this plan won't succeed, but things go wrong in surprising ways. The relatives, Moo and Poppy, are octogenarians grieving the death of their adult son. Moo, a comical but endearing figure, frequently confuses words—the "artesian screw" Mike was supposed to work on is really an "artisan's crew" of woodworkers, building boxes to raise funds to bring a Romanian orphan to live with a widowed minister in town. There are many contrivances: nearly every important character is grieving someone, and Misha, the prospective adoptee, looks exactly like Mike and is wearing a shirt Mike donated to charity. Still, the wacky cast, rewarding character growth, and ample humor make this an effortless read. Ages 10–up. (June)

 
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