Bringing Up Mike


Young Adult - Sci-Fi
442 Pages
Reviewed on 09/20/2014
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Author Biography

Mark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He received his BSEE from UC Berkeley. He has worked for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics.

    Book Review

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!