One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold.
If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.
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Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are The Legend of Bass Reeves, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds. He lives in New Mexico and Alaska.From AudioFile:
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. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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