Wendy Lamb Books, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
aulsen's story begins with his twelve-year-old narrator worrying about how to make enough money to replace an inner tube in his bicycle tire. When his grandmother gives him an old broken-down riding mower, he doesn't have any idea what to do with it. He fails at trying to repair it, but soon realizes that he and the lawnmower belong together.
ince he lives on the edge of an upper-middle-class neighborhood with large yards, he offers to cut one lawn and before he knows it the entire neighborhood wants to hire him. Recently, the man who owned the lawn service they used had run away with a neighbor's wife.
f he cuts as many lawns as he can, he figures out that he will be able to make seven thousand five hundred dollars during the summer, which is way more than he needs to buy the inner tube for his bike tire.
lthough this is quite a business to be run by a twelve-year-old, next he meets Arnold Howell who needs his yard cut, but has a cash flow problem. Instead of paying the lawn boy he suggests investing the cost of mowing the lawn in the market. Since lawn boy has more lawns than he can mow, Arnold also introduces him to a stay-at-home dad who becomes his partner. Lawn boy's business grows and grows, so he is forced to hire employees.
ith chapter headings suggesting the business principals that lawn boy is learning, Paulsen tells a clever, funny tale of a young boy who treats his workers and his customers fairly and becomes a summer tycoon.
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