Most people know Gary Paulsen for his wilderness themed books like "Hatchet" and "The River." I'm pretty ashamed to say that I've never read any of his wilderness books. They just don't interest me much.
A few weeks ago Tiffany (my beautiful wife who teaches 6th grade) brought home "Lawn Boy" from the school's book fair. I decided to read it on a relaxing, post-final-exam afternoon and I'm glad I did.
The titular lawn boy receives for his birthday, a busted and rusted old riding lawnmower from his eccentric granny. He gets hired to mow his neighbor's lawn and after a while is mowing all the lawns on the whole block. In a bizarre turn of events he ends up running his own lawn care business with dozens of employees working under him. He also ends up buying a bunch of stocks that really take off and before he knows it he's running a big business. And he has no idea what he's doing. It sounds like a bad lesson in economics but it's quite entertaining. I'd rather not say how but his investments in the stock market end up being very amusing.
The chapters all are named with titles like "Capital Growth Coupled with the Principles of Production Expansion" and "Economic Expansion Combined with Portfolio Diversification." The chapters do discuss each of these topics but in a very loose and easy to digest way.
"Lawn Boy" is very short, only 88 pages. It's a quick read and would appeal to kids from 10 years+. Fun Stuff. Now maybe I'll have to take a stab at "Hatchet."