Book Review: The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine

Title: The Absolute Value of Mike
Author: Kathryn Erskine
Series: None
Publisher: Philomel
Released: June 9, 2011

Book Summary: 

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.

I am so far behind in my reviews!  I read this one  2 1/2 months ago and I’m just getting around to writing a quick review.  

Personally I think Kathryn Erskine is a great writer.  I enjoyed her book Mockingbird and thus requested a review copy of The Absolute Value of Mike.  

I think taking into account the target audience is important when judging a book.  The main character in this book is 14 but I think this story is aimed more at middle grade & preteens.   It felt like it would be a hit with 10-13 year olds, especially boys.  

The Absolute Value of Mike is full of likable, quirky characters.  It’s a feel good, coming of age story.  It has a great message about being yourself and following you heart.  

Rating: 4 Stars – Great Book

Content: There were a couple mild swear words and a few reference to sex/crude remarks that I wish would have been left out.

Source: ARC from Author