The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike

In a nutshell:  A teen who can never impress his dad spends the summer juggling the needs of wacky relatives and townspeople -- and discovers his real value. 


Mike tries so hard to please his father but the only language 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 -- not the project, not the relatives, not even the town.  Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.
1 teenage boy + 1 crazy town + 3 weeks - $40,000.  You do the math.

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"The Absolute Value of Mike is a comedy about deadly serious things."

The New York Times

"A satisfying story of family, friendship and small-town cooperation in a 21st-century world."


"The wacky cast, rewarding character growth, and ample humor make this an effortless read."

Publishers Weekly

Fun Facts About The Absolute Value of Mike

This is such a fun math trick!  Tell a friend to circle 20 numbers on the calendar in a 5 by 4 rectangle and you will add up all the circled numbers in your head in a couple of seconds!  

The Secret: Add the smallest and largest numbers that are circled and multiply their sum by 10.  And that's it!  

So for this example: 

6 + 31 = 37 and then, 

37 x 10 = 370

The sum of all 20 numbers is 370!

It's always fun to see the book jackets other countries choose for my books.  I particularly love the Japanese cover of The Absolute Value of Mike.  Whoever designed it really read the book closely!  Mike has a rock band T-shirt and the brown shoes he always wears.  The homeless guy is on his cell phone.  Moo is driving crazy as usual ... and they all look a little manga which is kind of fun!