Danny Dunn

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For the 2009 novel by Australian author Bryce Courtenay, see The Story of Danny Dunn.

Danny Dunn is the name of a fictional character and protagonist of a series of American juvenile science fiction/adventure books written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams between 1956 and 1977. The stories were set in the fictional American town of Midston and featured characters who were interested in science and mathematics.[1]

Abrashkin died after the fifth book. Williams, however, insisted on Abrashkin being given co-author credit on the subsequent books as well, since he had been instrumental in constructing the series. Ezra Jack Keats illustrated the first four novels in the series.

Although the exact location of Midston is not given, a prior owner of the Professor's house hosted a famed American of colonial times, implying Midston is somewhere in the Thirteen Colonies' more developed areas. In the book Danny Dunn and the Heat Ray, reference is made to US Route 1 and US Route 2 in the vicinity of town, which meet only at Houlton, Maine.


  • Professor Euclid Bullfinch, a researcher at [fictional] Midston University. The Professor is also a musician who plays the bass viol (also known colloquially as the "bull fiddle"). He is plump and somewhat bald and smokes a pipe in some of the books.
  • Teenager (some books depict an elementary school setting) Danny Dunn, who gets into complicated problems involving the Professor's latest invention. Danny is looking forward to a career in science and considers Professor Bullfinch as a mentor.
  • Mrs. Dunn, Danny's widowed mother, housekeeper for Professor Bullfinch.
  • Teenager Irene Miller, Danny's friend and next-door neighbor. Irene's father teaches astronomy at Midston University. Irene is particularly interested in physics.
  • Teenager Joe Pearson, Danny's friend. Joe is the poet of the group, and he often functions as an amusing sidekick to Danny, expressing bafflement at the complicated technology employed by Danny and the Professor.
  • Teenager Eddie ("Snitcher") Phillips, rival of Danny.
  • Doctor A.J. Grimes, a friend of Professor Bullfinch introduced in the first book, Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint. Grimes is a curmudgeonly figure, rarely taking the teenagers seriously, and often trying to antagonize the Professor. Doctor Grimes is also a musician who plays the piccolo; he and Professor Bullfinch occasionally play duets. Tall and lanky, he is in many ways a contrast to his friend Bullfinch.


  1. Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint (1956)
  2. Danny Dunn on a Desert Island (1957)
  3. Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine (1958) (Irene introduced)
  4. Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine (1959)
  5. Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor (1960)
  6. Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave (1961)
  7. Danny Dunn and the Heat Ray (1962)
  8. Danny Dunn, Time Traveler (1963)
  9. Danny Dunn and the Automatic House (1965)
  10. Danny Dunn and the Voice from Space (1967)
  11. Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine (1969)
  12. Danny Dunn and the Swamp Monster (1971)
  13. Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy (1974)
  14. Danny Dunn Scientific Detective (1976)
  15. Danny Dunn and the Universal Glue (1977)


  • Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine was turned into a musical children's album on Golden Records (Golden LP 239), with music composed by Julie Mandel.


  1. ^ Williams, Patricia de Belloy (October 6, 1979). "Mini Bookmark". Bangor Daily News. p. 4MP. Retrieved February 4, 2011.