Caitlin's Reviews > Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
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Aug 09, 11

bookshelves: fiction, middle-grade, realistic-fiction, young-adult, economics
Read from August 08 to 09, 2011

This was such a clever little book! Paulsen expertly blends a comical story line about a boy's summer lawn mowing job with some of the basic principles of business, capitalism, and the stock market. When our 12-year-old narrator receives an old riding lawn mower as a gift from his grandmother, he sets out with the intention to make some pocket money by mowing a few neighbors' yards. Before he realizes it, he is managing an entire team of mowers, investing in the stock market (with the help of his hippy client and stockbroker Arnold), and sponsoring a heavyweight prizefighter. And here he thought he was on summer vacation!

This is an extremely short read (less than 100 pages), but it is chock-full of chuckles and grins for the reader. Each chapter title is a business/economics lesson (for instance, Chapter 1: "The Principles of Economic Expansion"). The characters are likeable and humorous (especially hippy stockbroker Arnold...such a riot!). The only issue I take with the book is that the back cover recommends it for 8-12 year olds, which is completely off. I am not aware of an 8-year-old today who would 'get' a lot of the information presented about business, or even want to read descriptions about shares splitting and dividends. This book is more appropriate for middle grade readers (11 year olds and up); not only will this age group appreciate the humor, but they may also be intrigued to learn more about the stock market and business because of this comic story!
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