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Lawn Boy



Perfect summer reading for reluctant readers.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A clever, funny and fun introduction to economics.

Positive role models

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

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

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Gary Paulsen
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:June 20, 2007
Number of pages:88

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Kid, 11 years old September 5, 2010

A good book for ages 9-12

This book is about a 12 year old boy who gets a his grandpa's old riding for his birthday. His neighbor needs a mowing job and "Lawn Boy" needs money for a new inner tube for his bike. So he agrees. Then he has a lot of job offers, people working for him, a hippie stockbroker, a heavyweight boxer, and a big problem for the company. But all he wanted was money for a new inner tube for his bike.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
I say this book sucked its just boring
Kid, 10 years old September 2, 2009


A boy is trying to earn some money and gets A LOT more then he bargained for. I think this book is good for kids 10+, especially boys. This book teaches about stock market, investing, and a small amount about (and it is a small amount) mowing lawns.
What other families should know
Educational value


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