Summer Book Review

The Absolute Value of Mike

By Kathryn Erskine

May 01, 2011


Genre: Realistic Fiction

Number of pages: 244

What’s the basic story line?

A boy named Mike has a super-genius dad who has dreams of his son becoming an engineer. Mike fears his learning disability will be an obstacle. When Mike’s dad lands a job teaching at a university in Romania, he sends Mike to live with his great-aunt Poppy and great-uncle Moo in rural Pennsylvania. The plan is for Mike to work on an engineering project with Poppy, but the reader discovers this was all a misunderstanding. During the three weeks that Mike lives in Pennsylvania, he deals with two wacky relatives, one crazy town, a hectic adoption and a very interesting dad. He doesn’t learn much about engineering during his stay, but what he does learn is far more valuable.

Are the characters believable?

Kid Reporter
Gabrielle Healy

No, not all the characters are believable. Only Mike and his dad come across as realistic. The others are utterly strange. Some are close to normal, including the part-time hobo, Past, and Gladys, the amazing singer with many piercings who is afraid to show her talent. However, all the characters fit together perfectly to make one good book.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book?

I would rate the book a 10. Author Kathryn Erskine did a great job writing about Mike and his adventures. The book is also beautifully worded. Overall, The Absolute Value of Mike is a book you won’t want to put down.


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