Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine – Summer of Vintage Kidlit Week #5

by | Jun 30, 2023 | Books, Reading, Vintage Kidlit Summer | 4 comments

My friend Faith Elizabeth Hough (who blogs HERE) and I decided to create a fun reading challenge called Vintage Kidlit Summer. If you missed any of the details on how this challenge works, just go here and you can catch up! Basically, we’re doing 12 categories over 12 weeks, and each week has its own theme. All you have to do is choose a vintage/classic book that fits that week’s theme, read it, and share about it! You can write about it on your blog, or you can post your thoughts on Instagram (or Twitter) as well, by using the hashtag #vintagekidlitsummer. And if you’re in need of recommendations for each week’s theme, check out this blog post!

Our fifth week’s theme was A Book in a Series, and for this theme I chose to read Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin, which was recommended by Faith for this category. I had never read it before, but I enjoyed it so much and I’m looking forward to checking out the other books in the series (Homework Machine appears to be the third book in the series).

This book follows Danny Dunn and his two best friends, Irene and Joe, as they try to use a sophisticated new computer to help them with their homework. They give all the information from their textbooks to the computer and program it to understand their homework test questions, and then the computer provides them with perfectly typed homework pages. Their teacher isn’t quite sure what to think at first, but after some brainstorming with Danny’s mother, she assigns them more advanced homework. But of course, this doesn’t stop them either—until an act of sabotage does!

What a fun book! I loved the conversation that Danny has with his teacher about whether or not the computer is merely a tool like a typewriter.

It’s interesting to think about how different technology was in the 1950s, when this book was published. The amazing computer in the story is enormous, not small and compact! The whole premise reminds me of 1960s-70s Kurt Russell movies, only a bit less fantastical. 🙂 

So glad I read this one, and I can’t wait to read the other books in the Danny Dunn series!

What did you read for the Vintage Kidlit Summer this week? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Marion

    I chose Amelia by Siobhan Parkinson Amelia’s family has gone from riches to just existing. Amelia must keep the household together after her mother’s political activities brings final disgrace.

  2. Marilyn

    For my series I chose B Is For Betsy By Carolyn Haywood. Betsy goes to school for the first time. She is scared but makes friends with Ellen.Betsy likes her teacher Miss Gray. Ellen and Betsy play a mock circus. For the summer vacation Ellen goes with Betsy and her family to Betsy’s grandmother’s farm. Betsy tells Ned who works on the farm that he is wrong,school is a lot of fun. This book and the entire series is quite enjoyable.

  3. Cari

    Honestly, I never heard of Vintage Kidlit till today XD

  4. Susan

    I just found your blog from finding The Star That Always Stays on another website. I was THRILLED to find a vintage kidlit challenge! I have 8 grandkids that I do a bookclub with in the summer (I choose different books for each child and we go out to lunch after we’ve both read the book) and hubby and I have always wished there were some books like the ones WE read as kids. Like Danny Dunn! We have a grandson who is especially good with engineering stuff, and I just bought the Kindle version of Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine – he’s going to love it!! My husband’s favorite books from childhood are the Freddy the Pig books – I wonder if those are still in print?! I definitely will be following your blog!


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