Bringing Up Mike

Bringing Up Mike

by Mark Phillip Duncan




What happens when Joe, a teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence? His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse.

Bringing Up Mike is a tapestry of intertwined stories over the course of a school year: A teen genius who has grown up too fast, a neglected former racehorse, a bereaved couple morning the death of their son, a girl struggling to attend college, and a former mobster determined to be top dog.

Bringing Up Mike is about people given a second chance at happiness and success and how they become better people and mature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935842491
Publisher: Askmar Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2014
Pages: 444
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

Foreword Reviews - Rebecca Foster

Duncan never veers too far into science fiction territory. This quirky, heartfelt novel should appeal to adolescents who fall somewhere between geeks and the popular crowd

Goodreads - Ingrid Steinberg

A wonderful story with great characters. This book can appeal to many ages, given the stories, within the story. I started to read this at the airport, and didn't put it down until my long flight was over!

LibraryThing - Gael Grossman

The author balances explanation and action well in this book. The pace is steady and I found myself interested page after page. Mark Duncan does a strong job in setting the scene and carrying the main character through a year of high school.

The US Review of Books - Anita Lock

A steady mix of questions and answers, hardship and healing, as well as love and laughter, this is a fascinating and engaging read. Though it is earmarked for teens, adults will find it equally intriguing.

Customer Reviews

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Bringing Up Mike 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Bringing Up Mike Author: Mark Duncan Published: 9-30-2014 Publisher: Askmar Publishing Pages: 442 Genre: Coming of Age Sub Genre: Hard Science Fiction; Young Adult; Fantasy ISBN: 9781935842491 ASIN: B00MQZ2CIU Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 5 Stars . Joe, a unique 17 year old has never attended high school, but was the youngest person to ever receive a doctorate from the prestigious Caltech. He know has a secret job with the government having to do with computer programming and viruses and Trojan threats. To say he is a genius is putting it mildly. His best friend is Mike an AI he created. When Mike causes problems with Joe's superiors and he is suspended for being immature and difficult to work with. Joe decides to take advantage of a clause in his contract and move in with a couple, George and Martha in Rural Tennessee. Locking away his classified work saying goodbye to Mike he sets out to become a "normal" 17 year old and attend high school as a senior. His hope is to learn how to make Mike act like and adult instead of the 5 year old prankster. The problem is Joe is just as clueless as Mike on how to interact with others outside of his work. As he begins his new life Joe is learning things he didn't know he lacked. His adventure would change him, Mike and those around Joe in ways he never could have expected. I have to say I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading this book. The target age may be for 12 - 18 year olds, but I believe it is a book just about any age above 10 could enjoy. The characters are thought out and evoke emotions in the reader. Some like George and Martha you will admire, sympathize and want to know better, Sly and his friends you will want to punch in the nose and pant out in the pasture, Amy/Sue will tug your heart strings with her tough persona. Joe himself will have you wanting to hug him and tell him things will work out and he will find a place he can fit in. Then there is Mike, who by the end of the first chapter will have you forgetting is not human and imagining a Dennis the Menace type young child that is a bit too smart for his own good. He made me wonder if perhaps Joe had not been a bit like him as a young boy. The plot is well thought out and moves quickly and smoothly. I like the light, humorous banter between Mike and Joe, much like siblings. I could keep going on about the different thing to like about the book, but you will need to read it for yourself. I have only briefly described about the first 3 chapters or so. The action does not stop. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
EDL85 More than 1 year ago
I wasnt sure how engaged I would be by a book about a young man and his AI friend, but "Bringing Up Mike" surprised me in how entertaining it is--it's a book with heart and a story that combines a bit of whimsy with humor and a coming-of-age feel. Joe is a genius, but he has a lot of growing up to do; his AI assistant, Mike, gets him fired from his job for being immature. Since Joe didn't have much of a normal childhood, he decides to go live in Tennessee with a couple named Martha and George, who are grieving the loss of their own son (and his choice is not random, but ties into the plot). There, he slowly comes out of his very intellectual lifestyle and finds himself not only trying to teach Mike how to be more human, but also bonding with his newfound family, crushing on a girl named Sue who wants more out of life than a small town and a cruel stepfather, and even rescuing an emotionally scarred stallion. I can't easily say what novels would be similar to "Bringing Up Mike," but I can say that reading it just made me feel good; watching Joe bond with Comanche, George and Martha, and eventually Sue is a pleasure. George and Martha are such strong, warm characters with love for each other despite the tragedy in their lives, and I liked how Sue was untouched by her stepfather's immorality and instead has big plans for her future. Mike adds a lot of humor to the novel, as well, with his questions and explorations of the world around him. As a main character, you see Joe go from someone who is confident and cocky to someone who is still confident but realizes he has a lot to learn about life, love, and letting others in. I would recommend this book for ages YA to adult; it's funny, the plot clips along with a mixture of humor and poignancy, and the characters are ones who will stay with you long after you close the pages.
Francine1440 More than 1 year ago
Bringing Up Mike is a somewhat coming of age story about Joe, a young genius, who never attended high school and works in a secret facility as the tech who keeps computer viruses from destroying the system. At least that is what I think he does since I never really figured much out about that part of the story. His assistant is Mike, an artificial intelligence that Joe made and now he wants to teach Mike to be an “adult”, or at least act like one, as opposed to the four year old emotional intelligence he currently has. Joe decides he needs a break and heads to live with an older couple and attend high school while living in Tennessee. Mike is still in his life via the beauty of the computer network and becomes a part of everyone’s lives in Joe’s new world. Joe also acquires a frightened race horse to nurse back to health with the help of his “foster mother”, Martha, who herself needs some nursing as she recovers from the loss of her son. The book is as much educational as it is a story and for the most part I enjoyed that aspect although there were times I found it to be a bit too preachy. I did enjoy the information about looking after a horse as well as all of the tidbits about Civil War reenactments and BBQ competitions in the South. The formatting and editing worked very well on my ereader. The cover art does not do the book justice because it really doesn’t give a clear idea of what the story is about and does nothing to draw the reader in. All in all it is a good book to read.
JulieGB More than 1 year ago
At 17-years-old, Joe was the youngest person to receive a doctorate from Caltech. For his dissertation, he created an artificial intelligence personal assistant named Mike. After being suspended at work for being viewed as insubordinate and immature, all Mike’s fault, Joe drops out of sight by leaving Utah and moving to Tennessee. With his reputation unknown, he moves in with a nice older couple, and enrolls in high school to finish 12th grade, and receive a diploma. Unknown to his new family and friends, he is actually doing a study on their daily virtual interactions with Mike. He must prove that Mike can pass for an actual human. The study is a success, but Joe’s experiences during the nine months he lives in Tennessee leaves him a far better person than when he started. I absolutely loved this story. The author gave the characters so much depth. I laughed so hard at the bumbling villain every time he tried to pull a fast one. I was hoping that there were recipes at the end so I could try out some of the dishes that were served. They sounded so amazing. As a side note, the town in this story is only 20 miles away from me. It was wonderful reading about all the things I have discovered on my own since moving here. I can truly say I agree with everything said and written about the area. I don’t know if the author will continue this story but I certainly hope so.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite Bringing up Mike by Mark Duncan is not your average coming of age novel.  Joe is the youngest Caltech graduate to receive a doctorate. And Mike is his faithful personal assistant. Since the deaths of his parents, Joe has become an emancipated minor who does top secret work for the government. Mike is really an artificial intelligence that Joe has created. Needless to say, Joe is not your normal teenager. Things go south for Joe in Utah when his juvenile antics get him suspended. With a bunch of free time on his hands, Joe decides to follow the advice of “Dear Amy” and try to make some friends. Joe ends up living with George and Martha in Tennessee. A delightful match made in heaven. Joe’s life changes drastically in the nine months he lives in Shelbyville. He discovers girls, buys a horse, learns to ride and care for him, rediscovers family and eats really well.     Bringing up Mike is a multi-faceted, seriously fun-loving work of fiction. This narrative is full of lighthearted limericks, puns and clichés. Yet, at the same time, it covers tough issues that young adults face, using meaningful metaphors, country music song lyrics and a few religious principles. The author’s writing style is simplistically real, scientifically intelligent and extremely sensory in description. Duncan’s settings are artistically scenic and change with the seasons, drawing you into the imagery. As a reader, you can hear the voice imitations and the musical melodies in the tone of the words. Furthermore, the food descriptions were written to heighten your taste buds. Mark Duncan guides you through the plot like a feisty horse on a lead rope - gently, but with a firm grip. To sum it up in the author’s words, the plot has “multiple, simultaneous battles that eventually result in a win.”
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite Bringing up Mike by Mark Duncan is a book that introduces us to Joe, who is a teenage prodigy. He makes drastic changes to his life when he attends high school incognito with an artificial intelligence named Mike. The book intertwines many stories over the course of a school year following a teenage genius who grew up too fast due to his intelligence, a couple who is mourning the death of their son, a former mobster, and a girl who is struggling to attend college. It's a  book about second chances and what can happen when people embrace them. I can honestly say I have not read a book about an artificial intelligence before, but once I got into Bringing up Mike I wondered why I hadn't or maybe I was just waiting for a book like this to come along. Mark Duncan does a fantastic job of bringing a science fiction to life for us as we watch not only what it's like to try to fit in when you're not quite normal like Mike and artificial intelligence, but how other people deal with emotions that come out through difficult situations in life. The book covers the gamut of human emotions and really does bring you in with a great flow and characters you can't help but feel connected with. I really would recommend that anyone who enjoys the genre or who just wants to read a great, well-written, emotion filled book give this one a read; you won't regret it.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Bringing Up Mike is a coming of age story written by Mark Duncan. Joe is the youngest person ever to be awarded a doctorate from Caltech. He's also the creator of an artificial intelligence program named Mike that acts as a personal assistant. Joe was working for the government until one day he's suspended by his director and told to take some time to grow up. Joe decides to do just that. He's an orphan and an emancipated minor, so finding a family to take him in seems the best way. He is introduced to George and Martha, a transplanted couple from California who are now living on a horse ranch in Tennessee, and he gets ready to experience high school for the first time. Mark Duncan's coming of age story, Bringing Up Mike, is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in some time. Duncan's characters have zing and sparkle. George and Martha are wonderful role models both for Joe and his AI creation, Mike. Watching Mike develop a personality and grow intellectually is awesome, as is seeing Joe experience more than coding and the technical world he's been thrust into. I loved reading George and Martha's takes on religion, intolerance and ethics and found a lot there to think about. The Tennessee venue for Bringing Up Mike is inspired and eye-opening. Joe gets a pet, a thoroughbred stallion named Comanche, and he and the reader get to experience the joys and hard work that having horses entails. There's so much to like about Bringing Up Mike. It's got me wondering just what Mark Duncan will come up with for his next novel. Bringing Up Mike is a marvelous young adult book that blends the science fiction and coming of age genres in an inspired and amazing way, and you don't have to be a young adult to have a grand time reading it. It's very highly recommended. This book rocks!