Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen is not the normal juvenile adventure book Paulsen normally writes.  Paulsen is well known for Hatchet and the other outdoor adventure books that follow Hatchet.  Lawn Boy  is far from a Hatchet book, but it is just as fabulously written.  It is a fast read (88 pages of larger print); it is a finish the book in an hour type of read.  It is a humorous book, and it is very easy for the young and old to relate to the characters and subject.  Plus you, yes even adults, can learn something.

School Library Journal said the following about Lawn Boy:

Grade 4–7—Learning the workings of the free-market economy has never been more fun than in this tall tale of entrepreneurship set in Eden Prairie, MN. When the narrator's grandmother gives him an old rider mower for his 12th birthday, his life changes; he senses "some kind of force behind it." Almost as soon as he figures out how to run it, the boy is in business—by the second day he has eight jobs. When he mows the lawn of Arnold Howell, an aging hippie e-trader, the cash-poor man offers a stock-market account in lieu of payment. Arnold not only invests the money; he also offers business advice. Soon lawn boy has a partner, 15 employees, a lot of money invested in the market, and a prizefighter. Chapter headings suggest business principles behind what is happening. Throughout the tale, the narrator is innocent of his success as he rises early each morning to begin each job, eats lunch on the mower, and longs for a less-hectic summer vacation. This rags-to-riches success story has colorful characters, a villain, and enough tongue-in-cheek humor to make it an enjoyable selection for the whole family.—Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH 

Lawn Boy is a GREAT book.  The main character/narrator is a 12 year old boy; the character's age and the writing tells me this book is geared toward upper elementary school kids.  The writing is clean, and it is a perfect book for that age.  However, high school or even adults would enjoy this book.  I personally think a high school economics class could read this book for discussion bits.  You will be entertained while reading this short book, but you will also learn economic principles.  I'm not sure how many high school economic teachers will include Lawn Boy in the curriculum, but it is a very entertaining and educational book.

Go ahead and pick this book up for an hour.  You will thoroughly enjoy it from cover to cover in one sitting.

As always, let me know your thoughts on this book or any others.  Happy Reading!

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