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The Absolute Value of Mike

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The Absolute Value of Mike Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of Mockingbird, a National Book Award winner!

Mike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus. And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult. When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to prove himself. But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be. Instead of an engineering assignment, he finds himself part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania while working alongside his wacky eighty-something-year-old aunt, a homeless man, and a punk-rock girl. Mike might not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.

Review:

"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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Mike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus. And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult. When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to buckle down and prove himself. But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be. The project has nothing at all to do with engineering, and he finds himself working alongside his wacky eighty-something- year-old aunt, a homeless man, and a punk rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania. Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.

About the Author

Kathryn Erskine lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399255052
Author:
Erskine, Kathryn
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Individuality
Subject:
Family - Parents
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Family - General
Subject:
Children s humor
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20110631
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 5 up to AND UP
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.71 x 5.1 x 0.69 in 0.43 lb
Age Level:
10-10

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Related Subjects

Children's » Humor
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Children's » Money
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Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Teen Issues

The Absolute Value of Mike Used Hardcover
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$11.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Philomel Books - English 9780399255052 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
Mike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus. And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult. When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to buckle down and prove himself. But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be. The project has nothing at all to do with engineering, and he finds himself working alongside his wacky eighty-something- year-old aunt, a homeless man, and a punk rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania. Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.
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