Capital Growth Coupled with the Principles of Production Expansion

No, this isn’t about economics. Believe it or not, the title of this post is from one of the chapters in the book I’m reviewing, Lawn Boy. Lawn Boy was written by Gary Paulsen, the award winning author of Hatchet which I have heard fabulous things about.

Several of my fellow school librarians said they liked this book. I did not. The book was very informative on the subjects of economics and business. I’ll give it that. I almost majored in business and accounting, and I have five accounting classes under my belt which I all aced. I’m pretty book smart, not so much the other smart. 🙂

So anyway, I don’t mind reading about the business world. But for pleasure reading, it must have a strong, interesting plot. Sure, I like learning about new things, but if I don’t find the story interesting, I’m done. I don’t want to learn more. I refuse to.

The book is about a boy who is given a riding lawn mower for his birthday and decides to start mowing people’s yards. As his business grows, so do his problems. He learns about profit margins and the stock market from a strange looking neighbor who claims to be a stockbroker.

The book is only 88 pages and, as some other reviewers pointed out, is a short read. Someone please tell me why the shortness of a book is considered a plus in some readers’ minds? Obviously, they really don’t like the story if they’re getting excited about it ending soon.

If your child likes learning about business or wants to have their own raking leaves or lemonade stand company, then this book might interest them. But parents, please don’t make them read it if they don’t find the topic intriguing, even if it’s a “short read.”
I give this book 0 out of 5 chocolate bars. Rating = Hey, who ate all the chocolate?

The Review That Got Me Blackballed Out of the Service, (media service that is)

This review is about the book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimah. It’s the story of a mouse, Mrs. Frisby, who needs help moving her house before the farmer destroys it with his plow.

Although I’ve seen the movie, I’ve never read the actual story, up until now. I am sorry to disappoint my fellow bloggers and blog readers but this review didn’t get me “blackballed” or fired from any job. However, it will probably turn an eyebrow or two since I didn’t favor the book. Here’s why…

I know Robert O’Brien’s 1971 story is a beloved classic and who wouldn’t like those adorable animals and their human like traits. The setting is well described for the most part, and as a reader, you feel for Mrs. Frisby and her plight to save her son, Timothy.

But that might be it for me. It’s a classic tale of “don’t watch the movie before reading the book,” and in this case, I did. I prefer the story changes in the Hollywood version more than the original work itself. For instance, I guess it’s the romantic in me, but I liked how Mrs. Frisby and Justin’s relationship was insinuated in the movie. (I know this is a children’s story, but I can’t help what I like). “Spolier” Plus, it annoyed me how I still don’t know for sure if Justin died in the book or if it was another rat who went back to save Brutus.

Justin wasn’t the only character I had a problem with. I enjoyed the movie’s version of Jenner more as the big bad villain than how O’Brien portrayed him. In the book, Jenner came across as just a rat with an independent streak. (Blah, I like them bad to the bone.) Finally, the scene where Mrs. Frisby goes down to see the rats just doesn’t excite me like it does in the movie where I have no trouble visualizing the awesome beauty.

Robert O’Brien did a good job writing this classic story, but the movie takes the chocolate in this case.

This book receives three out of five chocolate bars. 

Rating = Go see the movie.

Book Review

The Lemonade War

When I first set out to read this book, I had my doubts. I don’t read a lot of realistic stories, especially ones about little kids, and so I thought I would never end up liking this book. Boy, was I wrong.

The story revolves around Evan Treski and his sister, Jessi, as they battle it out one hot summer to see who can earn one hundred dollars first by selling, you guessed it, lemonade! It’s not without a few comedic episodes as both brother and sister try to sabotage the other from winning. Their antics will keep any child entertained, but as an adult, I really enjoyed reading about the two main characters’ thoughts and feelings. Especially those I have personally experienced. The narrator keeps an omniscient view point, but jumps back and forth between the two siblings letting the reader get to know both of them on a personal level. This creates real, meaningful characters, a quality not always found in adult books.

The Lemonade War is the first of a series of three books by Jacqueline Davies. It’s classified as realistic fiction and is a good read for grades 3rd through 5th.

This reader gives the book four out of five chocolate bars.  Rating = Yum