Lunch Money

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Lunch Money Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Delightful page-turner with rock-solid values.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

An important lesson on growing up and behaving decently towards others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Greg and Maura grow out of their childish competitiveness and learn to treat each other decently.

Violence & Scariness

An accidental black eye and bloody nose.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is exactly the kind of book you hope your kids will find and love -- showing the best examples of kids and adults behaving in caring, intelligent, and positive ways.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjneeb9 April 9, 2008
Adult Written bycol man886 April 9, 2008
Kid, 10 years old January 24, 2020

Great Book

I love this book because
• It's realistic fiction
• It's about building a plan
It's alright for anyone to read this book, but I chose 8 and up be... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 11, 2011

good for 9+

Read it! Great!!

What's the story?

Greg has always loved money, and he's good at getting lots of it. Since he was very small he has done chores and odd jobs, first at home, then around the neighborhood. Now in sixth grade he has realized that he has been sitting on a gold mine all along -- school. School is the place where kids with money gather every day, and Greg intends to get a good sized piece of the action.

At first he tries selling candy and toys, but the school soon puts a stop to that, and he can understand why. But when he starts writing, illustrating, and printing his own comic books and selling them, the principal puts a stop to that too, and that seems less fair. Equally unfair is that his lifelong enemy, Maura, has once again copied his idea. But perhaps it takes a pair of enemies to challenge the system.

Is it any good?

LUNCH MONEY is as remarkable for what it doesn't have as for what it does: suspense without villains, humor without pandering, excitement without violence. Not to mention independent children without killing off the adults or making them all morons. 

Nobody else seems to be able to do what Andrew Clements does: He takes the environment that is most familiar and meaningful to children, school, and writes stories that take place there in language so clear and lively that even inexperienced and reluctant readers can blaze through it in a haze of pleasure. And his stories are so packed with intellectual depth, emotional power, and understanding of the human heart that each of his books rockets to the top of read-aloud and discussion group lists.

The story has a rich and developing relationship between Greg and Maura and a complex view of money and school politics. And then it adds something that hardly anyone else seems to know how to do anymore -- pure, unadulterated delight.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the more-complex-than-usual look at the acquisition of money, relationships, and school politics.

Book details

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