The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike

by Kathryn Erskine

Paperback

$7.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, February 27

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142421017
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 495,482
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 Years

About the Author

Kathryn Erskine lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Absolute Value of Mike 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Ms_Terra More than 1 year ago
I have been anxiously awaiting the next book from Kathryn Erskine since the release of Mockingbird. As a middle school literature teacher, I have found that her books are ideal for addressing tough topics with today's youth in a sensitive and thoughtful manner. The Absolute Value of Mike is the best book I've read all year, and I have already ordered a class set to kick off the next school year. The protagonist, Mike, faces a difficult family dynamic with a mother who has passed away and father who is an academic genius, but who can't connect with people. Mike is pressured to excel in math, the only standard of success his father seems to value. When his father goes overseas for the summer, he leaves Mike with elderly relatives and the expectation that Mike will flourish working on an engineering project. Mike does flourish, but under completely different circumstances. Erskine's characters are brilliantly multi-dimensional, creatively contrived and endearingly flawed. A seemingly homeless man named Past, a disgruntled old man who refuses to move or talk, an eighty-something tiny fireball of a woman named Moo, a beautiful, highly-tattooed bank teller with abandonment issues, an old car decorated with vintage movie posters named Tyrone, and a 15-pound bag named Junior make up a portion of the cast Mike encounters in this coming-of-age saga. While the topics in this book are serious and relevant to today's young adults, they are addressed in a manner that is tasteful and appropriate. Financial difficulties, death, senility, learning disabilities, domestic violence, adoption, and homelessness are some of the conflicts faced by the characters in The Absolute Value of Mike, but Erskine navigates each issue gracefully, with compassion and empathy. I was grateful, as an English teacher, to find that there is no foul language or controversial material in this book. I believe this novel would be a perfect addition to any classroom or home library for adolescents, teachers, and parents. Five stars.
tibobi on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The Short of It:Laugh-out-loud funny.The Rest of It:When his father takes a teaching job in Romania for the summer, fourteen-year-old Mike is sent to a town he affectionately calls, ¿Do Over¿ so he can stay with his grand-aunt and uncle known only as Moo and Poppy.Moo and Poppy have their own issues. They¿ve recently lost their grown son Doug, and Poppy spends his days sitting in his chair, staring at the TV and eating nothing but Scrapple. Sitting in a chair all day wouldn¿t be too bad, but there¿s a project that the entire town is relying on Poppy for, and he¿s in no shape to complete it. Having no other choice, Mike steps in to save the day.There are some very serious issues contained within its pages, but The Absolute Value of Mike addresses them with humor. The small town feel and the relationship between the town¿s inhabitants is at times laugh-out-loud funny, but also very sweet.I had just begun to read this when The Boy took it out of my hands. He is not a reader, but after reading the opening paragraph, he declared that he would read it after me. Wha?? The Boy said he wants to read it? Wha?? It took a moment for that to settle in.Isn¿t that saying something though? This is clean tween reading. No vamps or zombies here. Just Porch Pals, a car named Tyrone and a Romanian orphan looking for a home. Although it¿s geared towards tweens, I enjoyed it too.Erskine¿s name might sound familiar to you and that would be because she also wrote Mockingbird, which I liked very much. The Absolute Value of Mike is an Amazon Best Book of the Month and has been chosen by Indie booksellers for the Summer 2011 Kids¿ Next List.
RefPenny on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Mike has been sent to stay with his great aunt and uncle whilst his father is in Romania. His father is a maths genius (but hopeless at practical things) and wants Mike to help with his great uncle's project - an artesian screw - to improve his maths . However, when Mike arrives he discovers the project is something else completely. Faced with some seemingly insurmountable problems Mike finally discovers what he really is good at.Although this book touches on some big issues the story is very funny and the characters very likeable. This book would suit someone age 10 and up who enjoys realistic fiction.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Mike's father has to go away for the summer. So he ships Mike off to stay with his great aunt and uncle, Moo and Poppy, who have recently lost their son. Mike finds himself taking care of Moo and Poppy, and helping the town in its efforts to raise money to adopt an orphan from Romania.
KarenBall on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Mike's father James is an engineering professor and mathematical genius, who will be spending the summer teaching in Romania. But he can't bring Mike, so he sends him off to rural Pennsylvania to stay with great-aunt Moo and great-uncle Poppy for six weeks. Poppy is supposed to be working on building an artesian screw and water turbine, and James decides that experience will help Mike learn more about math -- even though Mike has dyscalculia and feels hopeless about ever learning enough math to please his father. Mike discovers that Poppy and Moo are in dire need of financial help, and are barely able to take care of themselves, but the tiny town where they live is full of people who help out whenever they can. In fact, the whole town is focused on helping the Reverend Karen Valentine raise enough money to travel to Romania and adopt a little boy named Misha. Mike has a summer full of new experiences, new friends, and unexpected problems to solve... but very few of his "engineering" problems involve math. Wonderful realistic fiction, 6th grade and up.
loafhunter13 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a well paced book following the free-wheeling Mike, son of a mathematical genius who can't let along doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps. Sent away to stay with distant relations for th summer, Mike learns alot about himself, his strengths, and the power of family. The book is written well enough and it reads quickly with a nice rythym. The characters have a minalmial development but enought to give them each appeal. The book is sound but one cannot help but feel it is was written by someone trying too hard to appeal to the ideal demographic. The author includes enough dialougge, visuals, and plot points to appeal to the young adult market albeit with some awkwardness. The text does feel as if it were reaching at times and there are section that smack of pandering. Overall, it is a strong effort but it lacks real emotional punch. Many issues are glossed over and the main character is essentialial given a carte blanche for poor behavior. He acknowledges it but it often up to others to adjust to Mike's point of view instead of compromise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does she get adopted??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was such an amazing book i highly recommend :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
When his father takes a teaching job in Romania for the summer, fourteen-year-old Mike is sent to a town he affectionately calls, "Do Over" so he can stay with his grand-aunt and uncle known only as Moo and Poppy. Moo and Poppy have their own issues. They've recently lost their grown son Doug, and Poppy spends his days sitting in his chair, staring at the TV and eating nothing but Scrapple. Sitting in a chair all day wouldn't be too bad, but there's a project that the entire town is relying on Poppy for, and he's in no shape to complete it. Having no other choice, Mike steps in to save the day. There are some very serious issues contained within its pages, but The Absolute Value of Mike addresses them with humor. The small town feel and the relationship between the town's inhabitants is at times laugh-out-loud funny, but also very sweet. I had just begun to read this when The Boy took it out of my hands. He is not a reader, but after reading the opening paragraph, he declared that he would read it after me. Wha?? The Boy said he wants to read it? Wha?? It took a moment for that to settle in. Isn't that saying something though? This is clean tween reading. No vamps or zombies here. Just Porch Pals, a car named Tyrone and a Romanian orphan looking for a home. Although it's geared towards tweens, I enjoyed it too. Erskine's name might sound familiar to you and that would be because she also wrote Mockingbird, which I liked very much.