Kate's Reviews > Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Feb 10, 2011

liked it
Recommended for: Boys & Girls 8-15
Read from February 10 to 11, 2011 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** It was good, fast-paced, but really not my genre. I read it in about 3 hours, however, I was taking notes on each chapter. Here a review for each chapter:

1) The Principals of Economic Expansion
Lawn Boy receives his grandfather’s old, small riding lawnmower for his 12th birthday. While testing it out on his family’s small, dead lawn, their neighbor asks him to mow his lawn too.

2) The Growth of Capitalism
Lawn Boy receives $60 total after he’s mowed the first neighbor and 2 other neighbor’s lawns. He has also had to buy gas down the road. Weary, he gently places his grandfather’s lawnmower in the garage and goes inside, where he falls asleep much earlier than usual.

3) The Law of Increasing Product Demand Versus Flat Production Capacity
Lawn Boy mows lawns down in the richer part of the neighborhood. The lawns were much larger, making his mower feel smaller. The owners of these lawns paid him $30-40, however he had to travel farther, and had to buy gas much more frequently. He quickly figures that he will have made over $7,000 by the end of the summer if he works dawn to dusk every day, no breaks. He then met Arnold, a very round man who “looked like somebody who had flunked clown school.” He was looking to trade stock bought with his own account for a mowed lawn. So Lawn Boy agreed.

4) Capital Growth Couples with the Principle of Product Expansion
Lawn Boy mows Arnold’s lawn, and Arnold buys Lawn Boy $40 worth of stock in a coffin company, Memorial Wooden Container Corporation. Arnold tells Lawn Boy of a man named Pasqual, a safe, honest man who provides quiet lawn service in the dark.

5) Labor Acquisition and Its Effect on Capital Growth
That night, Lawn Boy meets Pasqual, a redhead. Pasqual says to look for a small truck and a mower in the morning and that Lawn Boy will receive half of the money because he is the boss. Arnold and Lawn Boy figure out a new price for his costumer’s lawns and decide on a lower percentage of money for Lawn Boy. He and Arnold agree that Lawn Boy will keep his money at Arnold’s.

6) Economic Expansion Combined with Portfolio Diversification
Two weeks passed, involving many numbers. Louis, a thin man with a small pickup truck, and Lawn Boy were doing 3 lawns a day each, with Pasqual doing the finished touched on the lawns at his convenient times. More jobs came, and Lawn Boy started keeping track of them in some notebooks. Many more people were showing up at Arnold’s to help out with the lawns. They decided to send the workers directly to their jobs instead of meeting at Arnold’s every morning.

7) Overutilization of Labor Compounded by Unpredicted Capital Growth
For the first day all summer, it rained hard enough to stop work, giving them time to go over paperwork. They now had 5 binders containing business paperwork. Arnold told Lawn Boy he now has 15 employees, greatly surprising him. Arnold convinces Lawn Boy that because his employees are seasonal workers, they should receive a bonus at the end of the season to make their transition into other jobs easier. His gross pay is just over $8,000. Lawn Boy realizes that he has more money than he had ever imagined he’d have.

8) Dramatic Economic Expansion: Its Causes and Effects
Arnold told Lawn Boy his share in coffins rose dramatically, giving Lawn Boy $8,000 from that company. Arnold invested again-using that money and other money from the business-in an internet company called Walleye. Arnold sold 12,000 shares of Walleye for $4 a share. Lawn Boy had over $50,000. He fainted.

9) Conflict Resolution and Its Effects on Economic Policy
Lawn Boy is disappointed to discover that he doesn’t have the actual $50,000-only an account with the money. Arnold tells Lawn Boy he is sponsoring a heavyweight boxer, Joseph Powdermilk Jr, who lives nearby. This confuses Lawn Boy. Joseph gets out of the car. Arnold and Lawn Boy are in awe at the size of him. Joseph and Lawn Boy shake hands, and Pasqual comes urgently running up to the house. Apparently, some guy names Rock is trying to pick a fight with Lawn Boy’s workers.

10) Force of Arms and Its Application to Business
Joseph showed this Rock whose boss. In the end, Rock drove away with one leg sticking out the window, after Joseph had told him not to mess with his sponsor or any of his workers. They had all agreed to call Joseph “Joey Pow”. Lawn Boy was pleased.

11) Business and the Art of Creative Misrepresentation
Lawn Boy attempted to tell his parents of his investment. Pasqual had been coming by and reconditioning their yard. Lawn Boy’s mom saw Joseph in his beat up station wagon, and wondered if he was okay. It turns out Joey came by to make sure Rock didn’t find his sponsor. Joey drove away, and Lawn Boy believed he’d be fine.

12) Team Management in Times of Uncertainty
Arnold had bought the whole lawn crew cell phones. Lawn Boy received an unexpected call from Arnold. There was only one answer to the mystery. Rock. Lawn Boy went down to Arnold’s to investigate. They had Arnold. Lawn Boy needed help from his parents.

13) Expertise, Its Utilization and Effects on Economy
Lawn Boy ran home and decided to tell his parents everything. They called Joey and headed to Arnold’s house.

14) Resource Utilization: Its Causes and Effects
Joey took care of Rock and his men. Lawn Boy’s family had a conversation with Arnold about Lawn Boy having his own stock market account.

15) Serendipitous Activity and Its Effect on Capital Quantity

Lawn Boy and his family all went to Joey’s fight Saturday night, where they had ringside seats. The fight lasted four and a half seconds, ending with Joey knocking his competitor out cold. His winnings were $5,000, and Lawn Boy received half of it. The next morning, Lawn Boy receives a call from Arnold. It turns out; he has still owned the Walleye stocks all week. He actually has invested $480,000. When Lawn Boy tells his family, his dad faints, giving him reason to believe there is a weak male gene in his family.


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02/11/2011 page 26
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Sharon My son had read this and the sequel. It is a really good read.

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