Kids and Money

I wish that in my younger days, my parents had taught me the value of investment…oh wait, I think they did, I just chose to ignore them and buy the latest New Kids on the Block poster with my allowance instead.  Maybe if I had read a book like Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen, I would have been more inclined to forgo the pop culture detritus and open an IRA.

In this very short and amusing story, our unnamed, twelve year-old protagonist begins his summer with a lot of time and an old riding lawn mower.  After mowing his own lawn, the neighbors begin to request his services, and he soon has more clients than he can possibly handle.  His problems seem to be solved after he befriends a friendly stockbroker who becomes manager of the boy’s business and finances, which both balloon to mammoth proportions.  Soon, the boy finds out that his problems are just beginning.

While there are other resources for teaching kids about money and investing, Lawn Boy might be more effective than non-fiction because the story and characters are entertaining and the length of the book makes it appropriate for reluctant readers.

-Dana Zakrzewski

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