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Written By: Gary Paulsen
Grade Equivalent Reading Level: 4.5
Lexile Measure: 780L
A 12 year old boy has a boring summer ahead of him. No job, no sports, no fun. Until his wacky Grandma gives him an old lawnmower for his birthday. One thing after another happens, and it turns out to be a summer he’ll never forget!
Marie’s Review (Mom): This was a book listed in our older Sonlight D Instructor’s Guide I purchased used on ebay (we’re continuing with My Father’s World but I’m using Sonlight for summer reading). I read it out loud to the girls (CBD has the audiobook though!)
Lawn Boy uses comedy and a bit of a surreal story line to introduce children to the world of economics. I had to explain a lot to the kids – stocks, shares, entrepreneurs – but they actually listened and enjoyed my mini lessons since it pertained to the story.
Having said that though, I’m still not sure how much of the economics lessons they picked up. I think 3rd and 4th graders (rising 4th and 5th graders) are a little too young to grasp a lot of the excellent concepts introduced. I think I’ll have them read it again around 6th grade.
I couldn’t decide who my favorite character was. Joey Pow and Grandma both had me chuckling. It was a cute story and one we’ll keep to re-read!
Grace’s Review (4th Grade): It was kind of hard to understand and I didn’t get much of it. I really liked the funny parts at the end. Especially what the Grandmother said.
Lainey’s Review (3rd Grade): I liked it. It was kinda funny towards the end. I didn’t understand everything but I still could follow the story. Mostly. One guy got his head stuck in a dishwasher. That was my favorite part.
Christian Friendly: Mostly…
As far as God/Jesus/Christianity goes there’s nothing I found offensive. Some families though may not like the mild violence (similar to a PG kids movie, where the bad guy gets thrown against a wall and knocked out but not “hurt”). There is also a prizefighter that the main character ends up sponsoring.
Near the beginning of the story, we learn there’s a need for a neighborhood lawn service because the original lawn guy ran off with someone’s wife. Considering the age and maturity level of my kids I chose to skip that part.
Sensitive Readers: Very Mild Caution
Again, mild violence. I personally could have done without it but that’s probably because I’m a boring adult that views life as a little too sad and too real and pays too much attention to the news…. But I digress. My kids were fine and thought it was funny.