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Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine

(Danny Dunn #3)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  40 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 Miniac. 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 in
Hardcover, 141 pages
Published June 1964 by School Specialty Children's Publishing (first published 1958)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  414 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r-juv-dno
I read this as a young boy and just recently had to re-read it as part of my job (we're prepping them for e-book releases). This is the third installment of the Danny Dunn boy scientist/inventor (note, NOT boy genius) series and switches up the formula by introducing the third member of the cast, Irene Miller, in this book (her Dad just moved to Midston, you see) alongside Danny and his bosom companion the thin, dour poet Joe Pearson.

In this installment, children reading this book will learn abo
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kevin by: teacher
This book came out in 1958 but I still fondly remember my introduction to computers through it's pages when I was in first grade back in 1963 and I dreamed of actually owning my own computer. It wasn't to happen for 17 more years before I was the proud owner of an Atari 400. But I think the day that I brought that home I was still thinking about the fun Danny, Joe and Irene had with Miniac.

Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Ah, the Homework Machine. A machine that works out arithmetic problems and grammar questions perfectly, and even does social studies homework. Who wouldn't want one? Danny and Joe meet Irene and the three of them immediately are up to scientific mischief, using Professor Bullfinch's new computer to do their homework for them.

Remember that this book was written in 1959 when computers were real computers, taking up an entire large room, with tape drives, blinking lights and lots of buttons. The id
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all kids and interested adults!
This is a "golden-oldie" SBS book! It was published in 1958! So fascinating to see how people related to the very first computers, which took up a whole room! The in-home kind was probably a fantasy at that time! ...more
Eugene Miya
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Before "personal computers", computer graphics, and the net, I read this book, and had this book read to me by my 6th Grade teacher Mr. Schott. And one of the things I recall was that Danny had to do just about as much work to get the homework machine to do his homework, that he might as well have done his homework.

That gave me a nice edge later in junior high school, high school, college, graduate school, and "the real world". Later, I would hear about hobbyists, and even 8th graders using comp
Sep 29, 2009 rated it liked it
I think this was an old book of my half-sister's or my mom's that I found as a kid, originally published in the late 50s. I liked the invention/science factor back then, and mightily wished for my own homework machine. As an adult, I was pleasantly surprised to find a feminist element with the main girl character (also into science), and amused by the "advanced" computer that only took up half a room and the dialogue of "Gee, that's swell!" and such. ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved Danny Dunn books when I was young. I just read this one to my three youngest and it was a hit! They kept begging for one more chapter every time I read. I'm not sure how much of the science they got, but they sure loved it when Irene pushed Snitcher in the mud puddle! :-) ...more
Kevin Tucker
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: children, sci-fi, fiction
I remember really liking these stories when I was young. Now, the fact that they were written in the 50's is pretty evident. :-) Still, an easy, fast, and pretty fun to read story. ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Boy is this one out of date! A table with a computer filling the entire tabletop, called Minimac (Minny for short) and Mini because it is so tiny. Which it actually is compared with The Mark One mentioned in the book which filled an entire room. Kids may consider that science fiction in the opposite way because why would anyone bother with a table sized computer when they could just pull out their smart phone? But when you realize it was written in 1958, you can see it actually is pretty advance ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book as a third-grader in 1959. I received it as one of that year’s Weekly Reader Book Club offerings. I liked it enough to keep it for so many years and have enjoyed it once again with much older eyes.

In 1959, the story of Danny and his friends using a computer to do their homework was fanciful. The notion that Danny could “cheat” and get a machine to do his work for him (and his learning how wrong he was) added an element of fun. I’m surprised to be re-introduced to the notio
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: type-paper, 2015
Apparently this was first published in 1958 and it's oddly prescient. The protagonist and his friends are tasked with "babysitting" an electronic brain/computer while the professor is away. Their job is to feed information into its memory banks but soon enough Danny gets the clever idea that this machine can help him to do his homework. While the technology may have seemed like science fiction 50 years ago, it's commonplace today. The kids interact with the computer via a voice interface that re ...more
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed-series
Danny and Joe, and new friend Irene, are in charge of Professor Bullfinch's newly-invented Miniac computer, which (miraculously) is capable of producing junior-high homework-quality printouts from voice commands.
At over 60 years old, this story has run out of steam. It still made a nice, nostalgic trip back to the Danny Dunn stories of my 5th-grade year -- this was an early story I had not yet read. I would recommend it now only for completeness, as there are other Danny Dunn stories that kids c
Jim Razinha
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ll say it every time I read these: two influences got me into science fiction when I was 8, 9, 10 years old...Lester del Rey...and Danny Dunn. My small library (serving a town of 15,000) had a handful of Jay Williams’s Dunn books and I ate them all up. I checked them out over and over. This one was wildly imaginative to a far fetched point, but as with a few of the series, surprisingly plausible 60 years later. So programming a computer by voice is still a work in progress, but Wolfram Alpha a ...more
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Found a few of these "Danny Dunn" books in my favorite cousin's room the summer I was 8 (I think) and became obsessed with them. Back then it was hard to find books about science & adventure where the girl was best friends with 2 guys & she was the brainy one. Irene was my Hermione (Harry Potter.) Don't know how well current 8 year olds could relate to "Miniac." ...more
This book was read to me when I was about three. Lo these many decades later, I still had a vague memory of the plot. I've been trying to find the name of the book for years and finally succeeded. I think a book deserves at least five stars for being so memorable. Now, I'm going to see if the local library still has a copy so I can read it again. ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This came into my sphere of reading when I was about 10-12 years old, and I remember really enjoying it. The thought of using a computer to help with my homework was really attractive, even though I recognized even then that progrmming it would take far more work than just doing the homework myself. Still, it was an enticing thought, and appealed to my (very) juvenile imagination.
Betty Cross
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great fun. I have fond memories of the misadventures of Danny, Joe, and Irene as they program a computer to do their homework for them. Professor Bulfinch's computer was an advance for the time of writing. In the 1950s, a computer took up a whole room, but his machine would fit in a corner of the office, though it was too big to qualify as a Desktop. ...more
Daniel R.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
An unexpected and amusing children's read that I received as a birthday present. Definitely written to convey moral messages about cheating and friendship. Given its 1958 publishing date it had a realistic female character interested in science (although confined to the trope of choosing between two males) and a realistic portrayal of a computer and its limitations. ...more
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-books
3.5- A book about computers right as they were becoming a thing. It was interesting to read people’s perspectives about the latest technology. The book is a quick read. The illustrations are great (by Ezra Jack Keats). I didn’t like the way they treated Eddie. Sure he’s a snitch, but he acted the way he did partly because of how rude they were to him.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Still as great as it was when I first read it in 1972. This time around I read it to my 10-year-old who was enthralled with how advanced The authors ideas of computer technology were so many decades ago he said mom it's like Siri ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 4th grade so my memory is a little hazy.
All I remember is loving everything about this book and having it completely encapsulate my imagination. I can recommend it to other 4th graders like me.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Rather dated, having been published in the 1950s, but Danny Dunn is up to brainy shenanigans and quite fun. If you like Alvin Fernald, the Great Brain, Encyclopedia Brown, and other clever boys, you'll like Danny Dunn. ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Weekly Reader Children's Book Club ...more
Andrew kurosaki
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: a boy who loves inventions.
Recommended to Andrew by: My father
This book is really cool. Danny Dunn with his cool inventions are really cool. Especially if you're a boy interested in inventions. ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
my 7-year-old loved this one too.
Mar 24, 2016 added it
Shelves: jackson
I like the Danny Dunn book
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Good memories of this children's series with a rather nerdish main character. ...more
Rodney Haydon
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would hope that kids today would enjoy the Danny Dunn books as they were originally written and not need them to be updated.
Carol Ann
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this as a kid, rating it as a kids' book. ...more
Charles Jr.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Middling children's book interesting because author evidently consulted IBM folks about computer-technology language and concepts (Verrrrrry early language and concepts, like "addresses" and so forth). The birth of YA cyberpunk? ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Jay Williams (May 31, 1914–July 12, 1978) was an American author born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Max and Lillian Jacobson. He cited the experience of growing up as the son of a vaudeville show producer as leading him to pursue his acting career as early as college. Between 1931 and 1934 he attended the Unive

Other books in the series

Danny Dunn (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint (Danny Dunn, # 1)
  • Danny Dunn on a Desert Island (Danny Dunn, #2)
  • Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine (Danny Dunn, #4)
  • Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor (Danny Dunn #5)
  • Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave (Danny Dunn, #6)
  • Danny Dunn and the Heat Ray  (Danny Dunn #7)
  • Danny Dunn, Time Traveler (Danny Dunn, #8)
  • Danny Dunn and the Automatic House (Danny Dunn, #9)
  • Danny Dunn And The Voice From Space (Danny Dunn, #10)
  • Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine (Danny Dunn, #11)

News & Interviews

  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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