Reviews for Lawn Boy

AudioFile Reviews 2009 October/November
Tom Parks jumps into Paulsen's novella of a lad who inherits a rider lawn mower and builds a lucrative landscape business. Parks, as the unnamed narrator, describes how, through hard work and with sound advice from a customer, he raked in over $40,000 in one summer. Parks trims back his youthful voice to play believable secondary characters, including his beleaguered parents and, alas, stereotypically immigrant workers. An emotional cadence to every phrase adds to the far-fetched aspect of this tall tale, but the economic lessons about supply and demand, fair wages, and labor laws are well grounded in fact. The combination is an entertaining and educational listen. M.M.O. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 January

Gr 4-7--At the beginning of summer vacation, the 12-year-old narrator wonders how he is going to get enough money to buy a new inner tube for his bike. Grandma comes to the rescue when she gives him her late husband's riding lawn mower and he starts mowing a few yards in the neighborhood. Within a month, he has 15 people working for him and more business than he can handle. Arnold, one of his customers and a home-based stock broker, invests some of the boy's earnings not only in the stock market but also in a prizefighter, helping him earn thousands of dollars. Gary Paulsen's enjoyable novel (Wendy Lamb Books, 2007) also offers lessons on how a free-market economy works, buffered by lots of wacky humor and the inclusion of improbable and unexpected events. Tom Parks does an excellent job of conveying the innocence and unbridled enthusiasm of the young man. However, the protagonist sounds younger than 12 and a Latino character sounds somewhat robotic. In spite of these quibbles, this is a fun and educational audiobook.--Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN

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