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The Year Money Grew on Trees

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  627 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
With frostbitten fingers, sleepless nights and sore muscles, 14-year-old Jackson Jones and his posse of cousins discover the lost art of winging it when they take over an orchard of 300 wild apple trees. They know nothing about pruning or irrigation or pest control, but figure it out they must—if they are to avoid losing $8,000 (because of an unfair contract).

With spot ill
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 6th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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2013 Rebecca Caudill Nominees
20th out of 25 books — 67 voters
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Mock Newbery 2010/2011
53rd out of 87 books — 228 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,137)
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Although marketed for middle school, this is really more of a sweet story for adults with a sentimental attachment to the work ethic of kids of the early 1980s. Thirteen year-old Jackson is duped by his neighbor into pruning, fertilizing, irrigating, spraying, and ultimately harvesting apples from the 300 trees in her apple orchard. She makes him sign a contract agreeing that, after all of his and his young cousins' hard work, HE will pay HER $8000 out of his profits after selling the apples, an ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Our favorite snow cone guy kept telling us all summer "My son is going to have a book published!" I would smile and say how great that was, and thought it sounded a bit dull. I would never have even started it, but a friend let me borrow her copy. I am so glad! It was absolutely enjoyable in every way! I think adults youngsters may enjoy it, but adults will understand how funny some of the things are a little better. It was funny, sweet, heart-warming, and I a.most cried near the end when Brothe ...more
2013 Rebecca Caudill nominee. This was a story about fourteen year old Jackson Jones who lives next door to his cousins and a 300 tree apple orchard. One day the owner of the apple orchard challenged him that if he took care of the apple orchard for a whole year and paid her $8,000 from selling the apples he would be given the orchard. The owner is an elderly lady whose husband had passed away and she seemed to want to make this deal with Jackson to get back at her son for not helping her with t ...more
Aileen Stewart
Aug 14, 2011 Aileen Stewart rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tweens and Teens and other human beings
Recommended to Aileen by: Children's Librarian Becky Barr
"The Year Money Grew on Trees" is a superbly written story of a determined boy. Goaded into an agreement by his conniving neighbor Mrs. Nelson and trying to evade the summer job of doom lined up by his father, Jackson Jones works diligently to live up to the bargain of restoring a neglected apple orchard. Jackson enlists the help of his siblings and his cousins and spends a summer learning as he goes. Will he manage to grow a crop of apples worthy of selling? Will he be able to sell the apples o ...more
Heather Hansen
May 30, 2013 Heather Hansen rated it really liked it
Awesome little book about economics and hard work.

Jackson somehow becomes the owner of a 300 tree apple orchard at the age of 13 (to be 14 in a few weeks). He hires his cousins and siblings on contract and learns a lot of lessons from February to October about what it takes to run a business and manage employees.

The dads are questionable in this book. Supportive sort of and extremely sarcastic and critical. Moms aren't terribly supportive other.

His Sunday School teacher, Jeremy and Jerry are wo
Apr 15, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it
Extremely heavy-handed about the values/joys of Work and Being Productive and "if we all work together, we can do something about the cats"--and while the religion wasn't overwhelming to me, I was sure within a few pages that the author was LDS and it might seem overwhelming to other people--but all the same, a fun and enjoyable read.
May 12, 2016 Joeli rated it really liked it
The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins was a book how a kid grew apples on three hundred trees to raise more than eight thousand dollars for the woman and his cousins who had helped him. This is a great story to prove that kids can work if they want and do things people say they can't and with the help. They made it seem like raising 8 thousand dollars by apples was impossible but they accomplished it.

The way they had found out what to do was just amazing how all the main character had j
Mar 06, 2012 Brett rated it liked it
I really enjoyed everything about this book, from the setting in early-1980's New Mexico, to the endearingly quirky cast of characters, to the life lessons learned by the absolutely wonderful protagonist.
Jackson is almost fourteen when his difficult widow neighbor convinces him to resurrect her deceased husband's apple orchard. Almost without understanding quite how it's happened, Jackson has agreed to prove that he is the "true heir" to the orchard by growing & selling enough apples to mak
Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2011 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
9 April 2011 THE YEAR MONEY GREW ON TREES by Aaron R. Hawkins, Houghton Mifflin, September 2010, 304p., ISBN: 978-0-547-27977-0

As a young child on Long Island, I had a wood-seated swing next to the backyard apple tree in which I learned to climb trees. In the fall, I'd gather the tart, green apples and work with Mom, turning them into pies.

And so it was with great pleasure that, when I found my dream home in California, it was bordered on two sides by a neighbor's expansive Gravenstein apple or
Jun 14, 2012 Jill rated it liked it
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could!

This was the story of Jackson, a boy in New Mexico in the 80s. I've never come across a book set in the 80s but let me tell you, it wasn't that interesting. The only things the author could come up with were Michael Jackson... and I think that's pretty much it.

Anyway, Jackson is given the opportunity by a crabby lady to take over her late husband's apple orchard and restore it to its former glory. If he succeeds, he gets to keep part of the profits and take
Mar 16, 2011 Jessi rated it liked it
Jackson Jones has no idea what he's gotten into when he agrees to tend the Mrs. Nelson's apple orchard, but anything has to be better than working at the scrap yard...right? Quickly realizing the futility of endeavoring alone, Jackson recruits his sisters and cousins to help him after school and on Saturdays tending to the orchard. From February through September, the kids work diligently--pruning the branches, fertilizing the soil, watering (not an easy task in dry New Mexico), spraying pestici ...more
When his neighbor Mrs. Nelson offers Jackson a chance to become the rightful owner of her late husband's apple orchard, he agrees. A contract is made stating that Jackson will give her $8,000 of the money he makes from selling the apples he grows, and she will give him the orchard. The problem is that Jackson knows nothing about farming or growing apples. Plus, he has no money. But things fall into place: he finds free (or mostly free) labor in his sisters and cousins, who live next-door; he fin ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it
I'd give this book 4.5 stars. This enjoyable little YA novel was written by an Electrical Engineering professor here at BYU. I thought that the writing was excellent and the story engaging. It was hard to put down because I wanted to see how it would work out.

This is the story of Jackson Jones, a 14 year old boy who needs a summer job. Into his life comes his next door neighbor, Mrs. Nelson, who offers to let him work her apple orchard and earn money by selling the apples. The catch is that he m
Cathe Olson
Aug 01, 2010 Cathe Olson rated it liked it
To avoid a summer job working at the scrap yard for a bullying boss, almost 14-year-old Jackson lets Mrs. Nelson, his weird neighbor, talk him into getting her apple orchard up and running--even though he has no idea of how to do it. He signs a contract that he will pay her $8,000 from his profits and she promises she will leave the orchard to him in her will. With a book from the library and the help of his siblings and cousins--plus lots and lots of hard work--it looks like he will have a bump ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Andy rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
Debut author Hawkins manages to make a suspenseful and engaging story out of the mundane subject of apple farming. At the center of the tale is 14-year-old Jackson Jones, a boy who knows nothing about tending an orchard but has a strong will and lots of perseverance. When his elderly neighbor Mrs. Nelson offers him ownership of her late husband’s apple orchard in exchange for the first $8,000 in profits from the harvest, Jackson jumps at the offer. What starts as a possible get-rich-quick scheme ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
So now that Ella can read by herself, she will often pick a book to read aloud to me -- whether it is an easy-reader, or a picture book from the library, or whatever. But I still like to read to her, and she still enjoys falling asleep to the (droning?) sound of my voice, so I started picking some longer books for us -- like The Year Money Grew on Trees. Set during the '80's outside a small town in New Mexico, teenage Jackson is challenged by his elderly widow neighbor to revive her deceased hus ...more
Oct 24, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it
Jackson strikes a bargain with his elderly neighbor, Mrs. Nelson. He will care for her 300 tree apple orchard. If he proves his worth, he will not only have the apples to sell but will become the legal "heir" of the orchard. The downside? The apple orchard hasn't been cared for in five years since Mr. Nelson passed away, Jackson knows nothing about being an apple farmer, and the real kicker, he has to pay Mrs. Nelson $8,000 off the top of his profits.

Although this is a book about children, it i
Dec 29, 2010 Karissa rated it really liked it
I got this as an e-book through NetGellay to review. I originally saw it through Amazon vine, but I picked something else when I went back to pick this book the next week it was gone. I am not sure what drew me to this book, it just sounded really interesting and peaked my curiosity. Overall it was a good book, well-written and full of both good messages and some light humor.

Jackson agrees to a proposal by his neighbor, who is an old conniving lady. He will bring her orchard back up to life; if
Jun 01, 2013 JoDean rated it really liked it
Recommended to JoDean by: Lucinda
This was a fun read tonight. I chuckled at the references to the early-80s (A-Team, Love Boat, Beat It and Billie Jean). I was impressed with all the kids and their enormous hard work in the orchard, especially since they didn't know anything and didn't receive much help. I thought it too bad that Jackson's dad was mostly a jerk. I would have liked it better if the parents had been more supportive, but I suppose that might have taken away some of the accomplishment from the kids. I loved Jackson ...more
Aug 06, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
Shelves: caudill-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thirteen-year-old Jackson Jones has a choice... he can either work in Slim Nickles scrap yard with his bully son, Skeeter or coax the neglected apple orchard owned by elderly neighbor Mrs. Nelson back to life. Just how difficult could it be to grow a few apples and care for 300 trees?

Mrs. Nelson and Jackson enter in a legal contract to bring her deceased husband's orchard to its full potential. Mrs. Nelson gets the first $8000 he earns selling apples and he and his 'workers' get to keep the rest
Jan 15, 2011 Christin rated it it was amazing
The Year Money Grew On Trees is an excellent storyline about a 14 year old boy who is given the opportunity to come into ownership of an apple orchard. The catch? He has to make $8000 from it the first year... and he doesn't have anyone to help! Soon young Jackson finds himself recruiting and paying his friends and family to help him out. This child-run orchard business begins to solidify friendships, help youth grow into adults, and reinforce the idea that responsibility and hard work do pay of ...more
May 07, 2011 Ellen rated it really liked it
Almost 14-year-old Jackson Jones has never thought too much about the apple orchard in front of his family's house--that is until the owner of the orchard offers to make him a deal: if he can get the orchard up and running, maybe he can have it.

With his only other option working at a scrap yard for the summer with the school bully, Jackson jumps in head first, researching apples at the library, learning to drive an old, troublesome tractor, and convincing his sisters and cousins to join him in
Sharon Lawler
Well developed characters, each with their own personality, blend together to make this a "feel good" read. First there's the cousins, who have been recruited by Jackson to help him rehabilitate the apple orchard which belongs to the unscrupulous lady next door. Of course, Jackson doesn't know she intends to renege on the agreement to sign the deed over to Jackson if he succeeds and makes a profit. There's the farmer who gladly gives the kids manure, and another farmer who grudgingly gives advic ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Mo added it
I hope my students like this book as much as I did. A bunch of kids think smart, work hard and are rewarded in the end. There is also an economics lesson mixed in. There is just enough tension with the old lady neighbor to keep you wondering if everything will ever turn out right. I thought it was a good story and it never seemed preachy to me, even though there were plenty of lessons to be learn.
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 Reading Vacation rated it really liked it
This book is not something I would normally read, but I wanted to give it a chance. It turns out that I enjoyed reading how Jackson and his cousins were able to overcome so many obstacles. They came up with some unique ways to handle every bump in the road. I liked that they did not give up easily.
The drawings added to the story and they are something that a technical person would appreciate. I would think that tween boys would get into this part of the book.
Overall, a nice story, but not
Oct 15, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
I really liked this sweet book about kids trying to make a success at growing apples. Through a deal with a neighbor, Jackson must earn $8000 plus from an abandoned orchard. He "hires" his sisters and cousins to help him. Great book on the hard work it takes to achieve goals.

I thought the parents very oblivious and rather cold-hearted. All the kids in two entire families were working constantly and the parents never came out to help or see what they were doing, even during harvest time. I am al
Jul 11, 2012 H rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-caudill
This book was checking out fairly regularly after I put it out last year, and one or two kids told me I should read it. It was one of the Caudill books I looked forward to the least, but it was better than I expected. I think it would make a good read aloud in classes with lots of kids with math and science/engineering interests, given the drawings of machinery, opportunities for figuring out word problems, maps, etc. I think kids also might enjoy the kid-centric viewpoint and the fact that Jack ...more
Miss Carman
Apr 28, 2013 Miss Carman rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, family
Jackson knows that he's probably getting a bad end of the deal when Mrs. Nelson suggests he runs her late husband's apple farm, and if he does a good enough job, he can keep the orchard. But it's either that or working for a whole summer at the junk yard, which he really doesn't want to do. Besides, it could make a lot of money... it's almost like growing money on trees! But he has to raise 8000$ at least, and Jackson knows nothing about growing apples. He definitely won't be able to do it all a ...more
Nov 24, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
I honestly can't explain why I enjoyed this book so much other than the fact that it was engaging. Describing the book, it is a series of steps and numbers and seemingly boring repetition of tasks that are done to get the apple trees profitable. But in reality, the reader is drawn into the book and eager to see what happens next, eager to root for Jackson and his young family members. As a young reader, there's definitely something appealing in seeing children run a proper, profitable business. ...more
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