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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
An important lesson on growing up and behaving decently towards others.
Positive Role Models
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.
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Products & Purchases
Several products, including candy, soda, and sportswear brands, are mentioned, but mostly as examples of the ways kids are marketed to.
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.
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. It's a pure, unadulterated delight.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate