Whether we were exploring the ocean floor, building homework machines, sneaking along on time travel adventures, Danny Dunn and I had fun. OK, I'm not really Irene, but I always imagined I was. Although the books may not be scientifically up-to-date, they inspired me and I anticipate they will inspire my future children.
Jay Williams received the Young Readers Choice Award in 1961 for Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine and in 1963 for Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor.
"Danny Dunn Predicts Educational Future" is an article exploring educational issues in Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine included in Under the Attic Window, an archived on-line newsletter on children's series books.
Included on this page:
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As I am not a scientist, or even in a science-related field, I can not verify accuracy or out-of-date scientific thinking that is in the Danny Dunn series. (If any of you has comments, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org) I do know, however, that these books were scientifically up-to-date at the time they were written in the late '50s and '60s.
Although the series is science-fiction, its stories are firmly based on scientific fact. For instance, the Lamont Geological Laboratories furnished information for The Ocean Floor and I.B.M. contributed greatly to The Homework Machine. For The Heat Ray, I was shown one of the first lasers in use. An attamp has always been made to keep the science in the stories ahead of actual scientific developments. many of the inventions suggested in The Automatic House, then purely hypothetical--such as the video-telephone, the rotating house, and the door responding to voice control--actually appeared in public use within a year after the book was published. --Jay Williams
I have listed the acknowledged scientific help the authors received in writing their books (the ones I know anyway).
Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine
Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine
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(still developing as I find the other books)
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The series was conceived by Raymond Abrashkin and written by Jay Williams. Abrashkin was almost completely paralyzed and would point to letters on a drawing of a keyboard to communicate his ideas, quickly developing a shorthand with his co-author, Williams. Abrashkin died after the fifth Danny Dunn book.
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