The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike

When Mike’s Dad wants to talk to him he calls. On the phone. From his study across the hall. Mike’s Dad is a genius. He’s also the classic absent minded professor. It’s a good thing he has Mike around to take care of business – like pay the bills. Mike’s Dad can’t find his glasses when they are sitting on top of his head or his keys when they are in his pocket. When Mike’s Dad gets an opportunity to teach abroad for 6 weeks Mike isn’t that bummed that he can’t go – six months at home without supervision….sweet! Six weeks without having to make sure his Dad can find his keys…sweet!

But people look poorly on the idea of a fourteen-year-old at home alone all summer, and even though Mike takes care of himself all the time anyway, his Dad sends him to live for the summer with an Aunt and Uncle Mike’s never even met and his dad hasn’t seen YEARS. The Aunt and Uncle are old. Poppy, the Uncle, never gets out of his chair and never talks. Moo, the Aunt, drives like a mad blind woman and watches pretend movies in a car she’s decorated to look like a theater. They aren’t exactly the company Mike had in mind for his summer!

He also didn’t have in mind doing all the math worksheets his Dad left for him. When will Mike’s father ever get it that Mike doesn’t even LIKE math, let alone LOVE it. As a matter of fact, he’ll get it this very summer, the summer Mike spends with Poppy and Moo and learns that while he might not be any good at math, he IS really good at something else…something that’s good enough to get Poppy out of his chair and Moo out of her broken down car.

During his summer with Poppy and Moo Mike meets a homeless guy who has a house he just chooses not to live in, two guys who make giant stuffed toys for adults and a cute rocker chick. All of them turn out to be really good friends for Mike, but one of them, and I’ll let you guess which one, turns out to be a little bit better friend than the others! A great story about a boy with some crazy good social skills and the desire to do something really good. Author: Kathryn Erskine 

If you liked reading about Mike and how he surprised the people around him, and himself, with his talents, you might like reading about some of these kids who also find out that what they are made of is some pretty good stuff…even if they are just kids.
Mockingbird Wild Things My Life in Pink and Green The Last Newpaper Boy in America
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