Patrick's Reviews > Lunch Money

Lunch Money by Andrew Clements
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's review
May 11, 2010

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Read in February, 2010

** spoiler alert ** This is a coming of age morality tale. Our protagonist, Greg Keaton, learns that sharing and giving can feel better than hording and hustling. Throughout the text the main character engages in math problems, all relating to money in one way or another. There is a step by step examination of how you put together a comic book for kids, one page creates a sixteen page comic (worth trying). The text is accompanied by rough hand sketches that enhance the action of the tale. The author's side agenda is to convince the reader that comics are literature and need to be treated as such in the classroom.

Our main character starts with small tips on becoming thrifty. Greg is a born hustler, charging his brothers to do their chores, he graduates to sell toys to kids at his school. Before sixth grade starts he launches Chunky Comics, and begins to sell his mass-produced "Return of the Hunter" comic at the start of the school year. Maura Shaw, his neighbor and arch nemesis, puts together a similar comic and begins to sell her unicorn story at school. Greg flips and confronts Maura in Mr. Z's math class. Mr. Z ends up giving them a speech on intellectual property. All student produced comics are banned from the school.

Greg and Maura end up combining forces to produce a high quality comic that sell to both boys and girls, thus it will make more money. By working together, our main character changes quickly. Greg begins to see that life does not revolve around money. Trying to revive Chunky Comics they present their case to the School Committee. Chucky Comics will donate 50 percent of their profits to the school, if they are allowed to sell approved comics in the lunch room.

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