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Lawn Boy

(Tales to Tickle the Funnybone #7)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  7,529 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews
One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, ...more
Hardcover, 88 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  7,529 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews

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Jan 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book irritated me so much that I felt an overwhelming desire to tell someone, anyone, my opinion. Simply put, this book deserves to come with a parental advisory warning. The overall topic is fine but the storyline is marred with controversy. First off, the boy hires 15 illegal Hispanic workers who all live in a single shack-like house and pack 4/5 deep into pick up trucks to go to their landscape jobs. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How racist is this?! These workers are paid nominally (the white la ...more
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up; economics teachers
Lawn Boy is a super-fast read (about an hour, total) with more action, character development, and snickers packed into its spare little 88 pages than about a hundred fatter novels I could rattle off.

I liked it right off the bat, mostly because of the narrator's description of his grandma in the first chapter: My grandmother is the kind of person who always thinks that no matter how bad things might seem, everything will always come out all right. Her hair could be on fire and she'd probably say
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Lawn Boy by author Gary Paulsen is a short young readers book about a boy...who mows lawns.

I normally like Gary Paulsen, but I think he whiffed on this one. This book is about a rather dull kid who apparently has no name (at least I could never find one) who likes to ride a lawnmower and mow people's lawns for a few bucks. Hold back your excitement, there's more. Then he meets a rather creepy old hippie who takes his lawn mowing money on a venture capital spending spree. Nameless kid soon finds
Rawson Gordon II
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
A colleague recommended this book as part of an interdisciplinary unit on economics that math, social studies, and language arts could do all together. I hope the order for the class set of novels goes through, so we may do just that, for I think it would be effective teaching, and the students would enjoy the book. Personally, though, I do not understand why Gary Paulsen is so popular. No book of his, with the possible exception of Hatchet has ever elicited much of an emotional or intellectual ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4 grade up to middle school
Recommended to Vicki by: Mock Newbery list
This is a first person narrative that is about a 12 year old boy who gets a lawnmower from his grandpa and starts making money. The book smiles it's way to funny and is very fast read. It definitely pushes reality and you don't want to ignore the chapter title as they expand the humor. What's funny about "Overutilization of Labor Compounded by Unpredicted Capital Growth" you may say. In conjunction with the chapter, it's funny! The humor is often in the enormous understatements:
Un-named narrator
L.N. Cronk
Dec 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book had so much potential, but fell short in my opinion. It started out very funny and had a lot of interesting things going for it (especially the grandma with her wacky sayings that actually weren't wacky once you learned the whole story behind them). I kept waiting the truth behind more of her saying to be revealed, but it never happened and I felt that a great opportunity was missed. The ending, was also very anticlimatic. Things just kept getting better and better financially (and mor ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Want to get your kid to save money, become an entrepreneur without you nagging them about it? Give them this book! Kids were lining up for it and begging the lucky checker-outer to "Pleeeeeeeese give it to me before you turn it in!"
Music to my ears...
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Lawn Boy
By: Gary Paulsen
Review by: Kaitlyn

Gary Paulsen has written MANY wonderful stories, that I highly recommend this one. Lawn Boy is so real, but yet different from the rest of his stories. This story takes place in Minnesota, in a neighborhood called, Eden Prairie, where they’re tons of lawns to be mowed!

Some IMPORTANT characters are:
The Lawn Mowing Crew

A funny quote from, Grandma is:
My Grandmother is the kind of person who always thinks that no matter how bad thing
Feb 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fluff-reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Note : This book was assigned as summer reading to the students of, and given to me by, a teacher for whom I will be subbing at the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year.

This has to be one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read; so much so that I've now asked one of my children to read it. Said child got to a point of not wanting to finish the book, but did so, for me, anyway.
We both agree, that besides the main character being both one of the luckiest,and most trusting people in exis
Oct 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
1. The book that i am reading is lawn boy by gary paulsen. It is about a boy who get a lawnmower from his grandparents and he stars mowing other people's lawn.the lexile of this book is 710L.

2. At the beginning of the book it was good he got a lawnmower from his grandparents form a garage sale in the summer.He stared the next day mowing his own lawn then the nabought next door ask the kid to mow his yard for 35 dollars.Then he was mowing that guys lawn his nabought asked the kid to mow his lawn
L13_F Sandra
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a boy who gets an old riding lawn mower from his grandmother and spends his summer building a lawn mowing business with the help of a stockbroker neighbor. I don't know much about the stock market but I laughed at the honest, fast talking stockbroker who made some outlandish buys with the money the boy earned from mowing lawns and soon the boy ends up sponsoring a prize fighter and becoming $450,000 richer at the end of summer. The narrator of this book is the boy, who tells ...more
Karen S
Nov 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nov-2009
I read this book with the intention of giving it to my 8 year old to read, but after reading it, I decided I won't. I liked the premise of the book - a little boy starts his own business almost accidentally when his grandmother gives him a lawn mower. You think it would go on to teach some good business skills at a child's level, but then it goes on to show how to avoid calling the police by taking matters into your own hand, all with your parent's consent! I didn't like the lesson it was teachi ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Starting out with a very old, very small, half pint lawn mower gifted from his grandfather a youngster finds himself hip deep in high finance, stocks, more employees than he can count, a minor case of kidnapping, not to mention a ring side seat at a Saturday night prize fight.
How he gets there is so much fun, its worth the quick read, and the laughs keep coming!
David H 4
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book Lawn Boy is a great book it teaches you about money ways to think and the huge thing the book teaches your about hard work and how a lot of good small things can turn into something really big. I would recommend this book for any one it is a funny but smart book.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Will I like it better than Molly McGinty?
Well, hm. Awfully short, engaging but totally unbelievable. I prefer The Toothpaste Millionaire (and others).
Shaeley Santiago
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Fantastic story of a boy who starts his own lawn mowing business and ends up getting rich. Hilarious.
Nancy Kotkin
A twelve-year-old boy falls into the lawn mowing business after his grandmother gives him an old riding mower for his birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, another one of Gary Paulsen's short humorous middle grade novels, but this one misses the mark on several levels. The protagonist is too clueless and passive to serve as an example for the economic principles used as chapter titles and described within the chapters. Though apparently at some point in the story (w ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tyler Reynolds
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book turns the classic summer job on it's head and turns the hero into a corporate officer in just a few, hilarious, pages. It's got the stock market, it's got pinching heads, it's even got a weird grandmother!
And the best thing about it? It's super short, in case, like me, you got busy with your friends and forgot to do summer reading for a while! I finished this before my mom could finish her lecture about how important it is to avoid screen-time by reading books.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty ok. It wasn't awful but it also wasn't super interesting. The book was about a 12 year old boy who just got out of school and is currently in sumer. For his birthday his grandma gives him a lawnmower that used to belong to his grandpa. He doesn't understand why his grandma would give him a lawnmower. He did not think that it would be useful for him. One day he decidesto useit for the first time. While he is mowing the lawn, one of his neighbor's asks him if he could mow his ...more
Urbandale Library
Lawn Boy is certainly a quirky and humorous tale about a boy, a lawn mower, and a lucky summer. Having read Paulsen's more dramatic novels (think the Hatchet series), this was certainly a change of pace. Light-hearted and fun, I would recommend as a great read aloud for 2nd-3rd graders (4th grade might be a stretch). -UPL Staff ...more
Nomar Knight
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somewhat educational spin on being an unlikely entrepreneur. Yet another humorous story that's worth reading. ...more
Janet Hutchinson
Already thinking of good connections with other books......
Logan DeShazer
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Meadows
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago. It's such a great way to show kids the possibilities that a little entrepreneurship can bring. ...more
I wish I can make that much money. This book is interesting.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
kind of boring. it teaches about economic terms. interesting characters. JOEY POW WINS HIS MATCH IN 4.5 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
Ben Sirois
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Lawn Boy By: Gary Paulsen is not my favorite book that he has wrote. For one there I didn't real like the theme as much as the rest of his books. But other than that there wasn't much to complain about. He did a great job of developing the character, I the boy started getting cool sponsors from people to help his "Lawn Mowing business grow" no pun intended. ...more
Miraya Aleman
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve

Other books in the series

Tales to Tickle the Funnybone (8 books)
  • The Boy Who Owned the School
  • Harris and Me
  • The Schernoff Discoveries
  • The Glass Cafe: Or the Stripper and the State; How My Mother Started a War with the System That Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famous
  • Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day
  • The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech
  • Lawn Boy Returns

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