Lawn Boy

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Lawn Boy Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Perfect summer reading for reluctant readers.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 22 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A clever, funny and fun introduction to economics.

Positive Role Models & Representations

An unnamed hero who learns a lot about making, spending and saving money, though he makes a few mistakes at first. 


A boxer roughs up some bad guys, and wins a boxing match with one punch.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's not much to be concerned about here beyond a snippet of cartoon violence.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygrandma3 February 4, 2015

Questionable topics, role models

Fun read but be aware.... some info and references not appropriate or necessary, ie, former lawn service guy (obviously adult) ran away with a neighbor's w... Continue reading
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bylove2 October 4, 2009

lame and boring

this book is so lame!!!!!!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byprincessvanie October 4, 2015

Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy is a really good chapter book of an unnamed narrator. For his twelfth birthday, “Lawn Boy” gets an old riding mower from his grandmother. While he is... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bynardle November 19, 2014


i read this book when I was in fourth grade I didn't think this would be interesting or great I thought it would just be....average. Well this book isn... Continue reading

What's the story?

A boy (not named) gets an old, used, riding lawnmower for his birthday from his eccentric grandmother. His next-door neighbor asks him to mow his lawn. He needs money to buy an inner tube for his bike, so he agrees. Soon he gets more customers. Soon he has more than he can handle.

One of his customers, an aging hippie day trader named Arnold, gives the boy advice on running his business, and invests his money for him. Soon the boy has more than a dozen employees, a wad of money, an interest in a prize fighter, and a problem with a protection racket. And all he wanted was an inner tube.

Is it any good?

It's hard to imagine a more perfect summer reading book -- it's a short, funny, delightfully absurd confection that secretly conveys some ideas worth thinking about. It might even inspire your kid to go out and try to earn some money. Veteran author Gary Paulsen gets right to the point, with no frills or unnecessary description, and readers will be grinning from the beginning to the all-too-soon end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the economics of the story.

  • Could this really happen?

  • How does the boy make so much money so

  • quickly?

  • What do those chapter titles mean?

  • How does the Stock Market

  • really work?

Book details

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