Lunch Money

Lunch Money

4.3 117
by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick
     
 

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MEET GREG KENTON, BILLIONAIRE IN THE MAKING.

Greg Kenton has two obsessions — making money and his long-standing competition with his annoying neighbor, Maura Shaw. So when Greg discovers that Maura is cutting into his booming Chunky Comics business with her own original illustrated minibooks, he's ready to declare war.

The problem is, Greg has to admit

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Overview

MEET GREG KENTON, BILLIONAIRE IN THE MAKING.

Greg Kenton has two obsessions — making money and his long-standing competition with his annoying neighbor, Maura Shaw. So when Greg discovers that Maura is cutting into his booming Chunky Comics business with her own original illustrated minibooks, he's ready to declare war.

The problem is, Greg has to admit that Maura's books are good, and soon the longtime enemies become unlikely business partners. But their budding partnership is threatened when the principal bans the sale of their comics in school. Suddenly, the two former rivals find themselves united against an adversary tougher than they ever were to each other. Will their enterprise — and their friendship — prevail?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This hits the jackpot."

Kirkus Reviews

"The characters are rich with interesting quirks and motivations...fast-paced and humorous."

School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
Clements's (Frindle) offers an uncharacteristically thin novel introducing a boy who excels at athletics and academics-and is a whiz at drawing-but whose "greatest talent had always been money." In preschool Greg did his older brothers' chores for pay; in nursery school he recycled his family's trash and kept the bottle and can deposit refunds; and by third grade he had "set himself a goal. He wanted to be rich." Now a fifth grader, Greg decides that "school would be an excellent place to make his fortune." Yet his business ventures selling candy and gum, novelty toys and homemade comic books land him in hot water with the principal. Though this young tycoon's ambitious aspirations and laughable arrogance are entertaining, the pace of the story slackens considerably at its midpoint, when Greg teams up with Maura, another talented artist and his longstanding rival, to launch a line of mini-comic books. Clements delivers a meaningful message about friendship, perseverance and proper priorities. But although Greg and Maura are likable and spunky, the detailed descriptions of how they create their debut books and petition the School Committee for permission to market them to fellow students grow tedious. Ages 8-12. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
For as long as he can remember, Greg has been interested in money-looking at it, feeling it, and especially making it. He has spent most of his young life coming up with new ways to make money. Now in sixth grade, Greg eyes his fellow classmates as a fertile field of new customers. With this realization in mind, he spends his whole summer planning for and executing his new product, a small comic book that he has drawn, written, and produced. Early sales are good, and Greg feels confident about the whole line of new stories that he plans to write. The first blow comes when Maura brings to school a little book that she has written, and Greg feels that his idea has been stolen. The second setback occurs when his principal finds out about Greg's comic book campaign and forbids him to sell his work at school or even bring them to school. Eventually Greg and Maura begin to work together, and a compromise is reached with the principal. This story will teach young people about the value of hard work, teamwork, and the need for give-and-take to settle differences. The fast pace will keep readers interested through to the end. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Simon & Schuster, 224p., Ages 11 to 14.
—Leslie Carter
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Sixth-grader Greg Kenton has a knack for finance. He's figured out many lucrative ways to make money since he was very young-by loaning it to his family, mowing yards, doing odd jobs. He notices that there is money to be made at school and decides to go for the gold by selling small comic books that he produces. All goes well until his neighbor and rival, Maura Shaw, tries to horn in on his action by copying the idea and selling her own comic books. A confrontation between the two results in a ban of comic books from the school by the principal. An uneasy partnership forms between Greg and Maura as they develop a comic book to sell together and pursue how to market it legally. Andrew Clements's novel (S & S, 2005) is charming, humorous, and poignant. Character actor John H. Mayer does an outstanding job of bringing the text to life. He uses subtle nuances in his voice to differentiate between the characters and the emotions each experiences. A good choice for the author's fans.-Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Budding billionaire Greg Kenton has a knack for making money and a serious rival. When he issues his first Chunky Comic Book at the beginning of sixth grade, his neighbor and classmate Maura Shaw produces an alternative. Their quarrel draws the attention of the principal, who bans comics from the school. But when they notice all the other commercial messages in their school, they take their cause to the local school committee. Without belaboring his point, Clements takes on product placement in schools and the need for wealth. "Most people can only use one bathroom at a time," says Greg's math teacher, Mr. Z. Greg gets the message; middle-grade readers may ignore it in favor of the delightful spectacle of Greg's ultimate economic success, a pleasing result for the effort this up-and-coming young businessman puts into his work. Clements weaves intriguing information about comic book illustration into this entertaining, smoothly written story. Selznick's accompanying black-and-white drawings have the appearance of sketches Greg might have made himself. This hits the jackpot. (Fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689866852
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/26/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
100,094
Product dimensions:
7.68(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.59(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: Quarters

It was near the end of his fifth-grade year. Around eleven thirty one morning during silent reading Greg felt hungry, so he had started to think about his lunch: a ham-and-cheese sandwich, a bag of nacho cheese Doritos, a bunch of red grapes, and an apple-cherry juice box.

His mom had made him a bag lunch, which was fine with Greg. Making a lunch was a lot cheaper than buying one, and Greg loved saving money whenever possible. Plus home food was usually better than school food. And on days he brought a bag lunch his mom also gave him fifty cents to buy dessert. Which was also fine with Greg. Sometimes he bought a treat, and sometimes he held on to the money. On this particular day he had been planning to spend both quarters on an ice-cream sandwich.

Then Greg remembered where his lunch was: at home on the kitchen counter. He did have a dollar of his own money in his wallet, and he had two quarters from his mom in his front pocket, but a whole school lunch cost two bucks. He needed two more quarters.

So Greg had walked to the front of the classroom, waited until his teacher looked up from her book, and then said, "Mrs. McCormick, I left my lunch at home. May I borrow fifty cents?"

Mrs. McCormick had not missed a teaching opportunity in over twenty years. So she shook her head, and in a voice loud enough for the whole class to hear, she said, "I'm sorry, but no, I will not lend you money. Do you know what would happen if I handed out fifty cents to all the boys and girls who forgot their lunches? I'd go broke, that's what. You need to learn to remember these things for yourself."

Then, turning to the class, Mrs. McCormick had announced, "Greg needs some lunch money. Can someone lend him fifty cents?"

Over half of the kids in the class raised a hand.

Embarrassed, Greg had hurried over to Brian Lemont, and Brian handed him two quarters.

"Thanks," Greg said. "Pay you back tomorrow."

Ten minutes later Greg was in the cafeteria line, shaking all four quarters around in his pocket. They made a nice clinking sound, and that had reminded Greg how much he liked quarters. Stack up four, and you've got a dollar. Stack up twenty quarters, and that's five dollars. Greg remembered one day when he had piled up all his quarters on his dresser — four stacks, and each had been over a foot tall. Stacking up quarters like that always made Greg feel rich.

So on that day in April of his fifth-grade year, Greg had started looking around the cafeteria, and everywhere he looked, he saw quarters. He saw kids trading quarters for ice-cream sandwiches and cupcakes and cookies at the dessert table. He saw kids over at the school store trading quarters for neon pens and sparkly pencils, and for little decorations like rubber soccer balls and plastic butterflies to stick onto the ends of those new pencils. He saw Albert Hobart drop three quarters into a machine so he could have a cold can of juice with his lunch. Kids were buying extra food, fancy pens and pencils, special drinks and snacks. There were quarters all over the place, buckets of them.

And then Greg remembered those hands that had been raised back in his classroom, all those kids who'd had a couple of quarters to lend him — extra quarters.

Excited, Greg had started making some calculations in his head — another one his talents. There were about 450 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Ashworth Intermediate School. If even half of those kids had two extra quarters to spend every day, then there had to be at least four hundred quarters floating around the school. That was a hundred dollars a day, over five hundred dollars each week — money, extra money, just jingling around in pockets and lunch bags!

At that moment Greg's view of school changed completely and forever. School had suddenly become the most interesting place on the planet. Because young Greg Kenton had decided that school would be an excellent place to make his fortune.

Text copyright 2005 by Andrew Clements

Illustrations copyright 2005 by Brian Selznick

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