Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

You're twelve. It's summer. You want a little money...enough, anyway, for a new inner tube for your bike. So when Grandma shows up out of the blue with an old riding lawn mower for you and says, "My bridge club is meeting on Thursday night which makes it hard to watch CSI since it's on Thursday too. Did you know that?" you do what any normal boy would do. Dismiss the indecipherable comment and start trying to figure out how to run the thing.

So now the mower is mowing. And now a neighbor asks if you mow lawns. For money. (Uh, yeah? I'm twelve. Money is good.) By the end of the day, one $20 lawn has become $60 (three lawns) and a list of six more names who are interested in acquiring your services.

And the next thing you know, you're staring hundreds of thousands of dollars square in the face.

Okay, maybe it's not "the next thing you know." You can't forget meeting the hippie stock market guy. Or your employees. Or the mafia type thugs. Or your sponsored prize-fighter. Or what your sponsored prize-fighter does to the mafia type thugs. No, you can't forget them. But sooner than later you are staring hundreds of thousands of dollars square in the face.

All this - and more - happens to the main character in Lawn Boy. (His grandmother, by the way, has a habit of making off the wall comments. It'll make sense, she says. Eventually.)

Gary Paulsen has a way of making economic concepts come to life through the experiences of our lawn-mowing hero. But don't let the economic talk scare you. The kid makes money. Lots of it. Period. And how he does it is flat-out hilarious.

1 comment:

  1. Great book. Just finished it. Really started to get into it after the "sponsoring of the boxer" Couldn't put it down.
    Thanks for the suggestion.



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