The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird) is a novel about this 14 almost 15 year old boy named Mike, who is sent to spend the summer with his great aunt and uncle, Moo and Poppy, resepctively, because his distant genius father is going abroad to teach in Romania and he isn't allowed to take unsupervised kids with him. At first, to be honest, I didn't care for the story. It was a bit too quirky. Moo, nearly blind but in denial, has named her truck Tyrone, and misses being in one wreck after another, seemingly magically; Poppy sits like a statue in his livingroom, depressed at the loss of his son; Past, a homeless guy, has eyes like Bono's (the U2 frontman) and exhudes all kinds of wisdom; there are three guys called the Three Stooges; and one more quirky character after another. But the story eventually grew on me. The town is helping Karen, the town minister who also has lost a husband, to adopt a boy from Romania (a coincidence that Mike's dad is teaching there) named Misha (also a coincidence that Misha stands for Mike). But Mike, a kid, makes it all happen, after some turmoil. All in all, it's a good read.

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