April 5, 2010

Lawn Boy - by Gary Paulsen

This is a short book full of big ideas, and was not what I expected.  That's a good thing in this case.

First of all, the narrator is an unnamed 12-year-old boy whose wacky grandmother just gave him his grandfather's old riding lawnmower.  Within a day, the boy went from having no idea what to do with his summer to being a successful independent businessman, mowing his neighbors' lawns.  The funny thing in this story, and the most important part of the plot, is that his business keeps growing, by leaps and bounds. With the help of a neighbor who happens to be a stockbroker (and a very poor dresser), our boy is soon in WAY over his head as the owner of a business that is taking on a life of its own.  There are some twists and turns that you won't expect, and that make this a very funny story.  The book ended a little too quickly for me, a little abruptly, but that's my only complaint about this engaging story.

This book will teach you not only the vocabulary and concepts involved with owning and running a business, but also about the stock market, dealing with nasty gangs of extortionists, how to own a professional boxer, and why your kooky old grandma may be the smartest person around. Check it out.

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