Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine (Danny Dunn, #3)3.85 · Rating details · 348 Ratings · 30 Reviews
No more homework!
Professor Bullfinch goes off to attend a scientific conference and leaves Danny in charge of his new miniature automatic computer called Minia. Danny calls it a midget giant brain and suddenly comes up with an idea. Could he program Minny to help him do his homework faster? Soon, Irene and Joe are in on the secret and the three friends are busy feeding infNo more homework!
Professor Bullfinch goes off to attend a scientific conference and leaves Danny in charge of his new miniature automatic computer called Minia. Danny calls it a midget giant brain and suddenly comes up with an idea. Could he program Minny to help him do his homework faster? Soon, Irene and Joe are in on the secret and the three friends are busy feeding information from their school books into Minny, the mechanical brain. All goes well until their old enemy, Snitcher, starts spying on them--and decides to try his hand at sabotage!/...more
Hardcover, 141 pages
Published June 1964 by School Specialty Children's Publishing (first published 1958)
Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine is the third novel in the Danny Dunn series of juvenile science fiction/adventure books written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. The book was first published in 1958 and originally illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. This is the first novel in the series to feature Irene.
Danny uses a computer that Professor Bulfinch has created for NASA to prepare his homework, despite Professor Bullfinch's warning that Danny is to leave the machine alone. With his friend Joe Pearson and his new neighbor, Irene Miller, Danny has some success with the machine before it is sabotaged. Danny figures out what is wrong with the machine and corrects the problem. Danny's teacher also learns about the machine, and has her ideas for the Homework Champions. Once she finds out, she thinks of a way to trick the kids.
The "homework machine" is in the style of the large mainframe computers of the 1950s, and one that uses paper punched cards. The concept of students using computers for research is common today; however, this computer was not merely a machine via which the drudgery of solving many 3 or 4 digit long division problems could be offloaded; it was also somehow able to accept "programming" of students' text books that enabled it to write reports on topics that were covered by the text books.
Amateur radio is used for the first (and possibly only) time in the series, with Danny and Irene attempting to get a homework question answered. The callsigns used would have been accurate for mid-western operators in that era but not for the mode used (shortwave). In any event, there was too much static and the kids resorted to opening the windows and talking across the alley.
Floyd C. Gale wrote in the August 1959 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction that the book was "another funful adventure".
- Paperback, 1958, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
- Hardback, 1958, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
- Hardback, 1960, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
MacDonald and Jane's
- Paperback, 1979, #5 in their series
- Paperback, 1983 reissue, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine was turned into a musical children's album on both Golden Records (Golden LP 239) and Wonderland Records (WLP-338), with music composed by Julie Mandel.