Flat Broke: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Greed

Flat Broke: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Greed

4.6 16
by Gary Paulsen

View All Available Formats & Editions

Kevin struggled to overcome his knack for lying in Liar, Liar, and now he's back for another round of mayhem and misunderstandings in this financial comedy of errors. In Kevin, Gary Paulsen has created an appealing teen boy character who is just as human and fallible as his readers.

From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.


Kevin struggled to overcome his knack for lying in Liar, Liar, and now he's back for another round of mayhem and misunderstandings in this financial comedy of errors. In Kevin, Gary Paulsen has created an appealing teen boy character who is just as human and fallible as his readers.

From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—In this follow-up to Liar, Liar (Random, 2011), 14-year-old Kevin has lost his allowance for a month thanks to his lying habit, so he has to find a way to make some cash. As quick as a wink, he puts his business savvy and his creativity to work and gets poker games going, delivers homemade cookies to a college campus, and starts a beauty service (with his big sister's help), among other initiatives. The money begins to flow in, but so does the trouble; not everyone is thrilled with Kevin's schemes, including the campus cops, his friends, and a local business owner. Throughout the book, business lessons are woven in by the clever narrator. Fans of the first book will enjoy this quick, fun lesson in cause and effect.—Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, WI
From the Publisher
Booklist, June 1, 2011:
"If the unnamed narrator of Paulsen’s Lawn Boy (2007) is the plucky entrepreneur who skyrockets to riches, Kevin is the wannabe mogul who sees an angle a mile away but trips over his own sky’s-the-limit aspirations. A glib, quick read to launch a thousand MBAs."

Children's Literature - Heather Welsh
Money makes the world go round for fourteen-year-old Kevin Spencer. That is, it did until his parents put him on the "If-you-Lie-Bad-Things-Will-Happen" program because he duped everyone in his life. Now, Kevin has no income at all. Now, there is no way he will be able to convince Tina Zabinski to go the dance with him because girls are only attracted to rich, successful guys. So Kevin hatches a plan, borrows a little cash from his sister and starts a poker business in his aunt's shop. It doesn't get any easier than this, right? The problem with people who love money is that they usually get greedy. So, Kevin decides to expand the business to include a beauty salon out of his sister's bathroom, cleaning garages and catering snacks to college kids with the munchies. In order to be successful, Kevin "borrows" a golf cart and begins dumping the trash from the garages in the dumpsters outside businesses without asking. No one said he couldn't, so what could go wrong? Will he catch Tina's eye and find the time to ask her to the dance in the middle of all the chaos? Will his businesses be a huge success, or an epic failure? It's not necessary to read the companion book entitled Liar, Liar, but readers will most likely want to know more about the back story of why Kevin is in trouble in Flat Broke. The chapters are short, which will appeal to reluctant readers, and the book is written in a conversational way that will appeal to all readers. Reviewer: Heather Welsh
Kirkus Reviews

A 14-year-old greedily launches himself headlong into the entrepreneurial world, with amusing consequences.

In the sequel to Liar, Liar (2011), Kevin's parents have taken away his allowance to punish him for his creative lying. Never impeded by misfortune (or a guilty conscience or the advice of everyone wiser than he), he decides it's a great time to make money. First he provides the perfect venue for poker games, even though some of his hapless player-victims begin to lose more money than they have. With the gambling business running admirably, he starts cleaning neighbors' garages, not worrying that depositing the trash in store Dumpsters is illegal. Then he begins "borrowing" a golf cart to sell cookies and coffee to college students. But he steps on too many people on the way up, inevitably leading to his downfall. Kevin's good-natured—if oversimplified—view of the world is pretty funny, and while readers will anticipate problems long before he does, it just adds to the fun. Chapter titles taken from a fictitious book on making money—"The Successful Person Has Vision That Others Lack," for example—contrast nicely with the disastrous outcome of Kevin's grandiose plans. That his droll first-person account only lightly sketches other characters hardly matters.

A jocular, fast-paced voyage into the sometimes simple but never quiet mind of an ambitious eighth grader. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
810L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Liar Liar, Masters of Disaster, Lawn Boy Returns, Woods Runner, Notes from the Dog, Mudshark, Lawn Boy, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).

From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Flat Broke 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Gary Paulsen is a hugely hysterical YA writer who created this story as a follow-up for his outstanding book, Liar, Liar. In this new adventure for Kevin, he is struggling with the fact that, because of all his lies last time around, he has since lost his allowance, lost his part-time job at Aunt Buzzie's shop, and his babysitting money that he gets for watching Markie after school may just dry up as well, because Markie's parents are getting a divorce and fighting about money. Kevin is still pining away for Tina - The Most Beautiful Girl in the World - and he knows that, without a little cash, she's never going to be his girlfriend. Not only that, but it will be impossible to invite her to the school dance if he doesn't have any money to pay for the tickets. Soon Kevin joins forces with his best friend JonPaul (the jock/health nut who is a real germophobe and is frightened by absolutely everything that has to do with dirt, snot, or saliva) to become a true entrepreneur. One idea Kevin comes up with is running poker games, and taking a percentage because he supplies the chips, cards, room, and junk food. He also takes the gift his sister has for make-up and hair care and rents her out as a supreme stylist to her friends, as well as taking the time to clean up all of his neighbor's garages for a large fee. What this entrepreneur doesn't count on is the fact that with a new business, you also have to know the rules. And all the ideas poor Kevin seems to come up with are making people even more angry than they were about the lying incidents in the recent past. Again, Gary Paulsen has the wit, charm, and 'laugh-out-loud' lines that bring us all back to a time when we were that kid just struggling to get by in the real world. Memories come flooding back about that perfect sister who was a real pain in the butt, as well as neighbors who just didn't understand that what we were doing was in order to get rich - just like what they were doing out there in the real world before they became cantankerous old farts. Quill Says: A fantastic read, as always, from the great Mr. Paulsen. All fans will look forward to what Kevin has up his sleeve for the next time around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To me, most YA humor books stink. Gary Paulsen, however, knows how to get it right. While many other books do things that no person our age would find funny, this book has perfect humor—slight quirks in characters, the MC's POV is relatable/funny, etc. Also, it knows how to keep us hooked with the slight relationship drama, the family drama, and the business drama. It isn't a big hook, but accompanied by humor, it'll keep you reading. Finally, the emotions. Perfect. In every way. So realistic and relatable when the character describes sad experiences. And the writing, although not filled with stunning vocab, is full of life and humor, and is great to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have u all read the series?????????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this story and how its put together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teh furst one was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?dooG koob !!!!!!!!!I evol sgorf. Read this backwards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
grandma-65 More than 1 year ago
I started out reading "Lawnmower Boy" by picking up a copy at the library spring, used book sale. Before sending it to my grandson, I thought I should read it first. I loved every minute of it and sent it to my very sophisticated, (reader), 8 yr. old grandson. He liked it so I decided to order some more. I don't know how far he has gotten into the series I sent him, but I understand that his 12 yr. old sister picked it up and read and enjoyed it (she does not have a big interest in reading!). So so far I think these will be a hit for my Ga. grandchildren. I will tell you more when I talk to them next time!! But I will say this grandmother has discovered a new author and am enjoying him thoroughtly!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great kids book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It suck