What It Is About: The narrator of the story is a twelve-year boy who is completely broke. After receiving a riding lawn mower from his grandmother, he finds himself with a new business. The setting of the story is Eden Prairie, MN which is actually the district I teach in. As the new "business" boy grows his clientele, he realizes how easy it is to earn money. He even recruits others to help him in the lawn care for all the new clients. One client is a stock broker and makes a deal with him in terms of "trade". The boy will mow his lawn and the man will invest the money in stocks instead of paying him. The boy isn't sure what all this means, but is thrilled to learn he is making quite a bit of money. Life gets complicated as more and more money is earned, a prize fighter enters the picture, and being a kid gets harder than ever.
What I Thought Of It: I hadn't read a Paulsen novel in quite some time. It goes back to the "Hatchet" days. This was a fun listen and I enjoyed the story. I thought the beginning and middle of the story were the strongest, but the ending got a little far fetched. When I think about young readers, I know they will enjoy the "craziness" of the story. The plot was fun, engaging, and humorous. It wasn't the best story I've ever listened to, but it certainly wasn't the worst. Overall, an enjoyable experience.
Who Should Read It: This will be book talked with my students because I know of many readers in my fourth grade class that will enjoy it. The fact that it takes place right in our hometown will be plus for readers. It could be more appealing to the male readers because of the male character and his business ventures, but I'm sure female readers would also find appealing elements in the story. Gary Paulsen fans will also find it a great read. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars