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Lunch Money
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Lunch Money

4.3 114
by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick (Illustrator)

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Greg's comic book business is threatened by Maura's mini-books, but soon they find a common enemy in the principal.


Greg's comic book business is threatened by Maura's mini-books, but soon they find a common enemy in the principal.

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

At the beginning of this novel, young Greg Kenton believes that greed is good. In his latest project, this natural sixth-grade entrepreneur is creating and selling miniature comic books at school, a high-margin scheme that looks like a surefire winner. Unfortunately, Greg hadn't anticipated two major problems. First, his classmate and full-time nemesis Maura become a mini-comic vendor herself. But even the threat of feminine competition becomes irrelevant when the principal decides to ban the sale of supposedly pernicious literature from his school. This unexpected roadblock causes Greg to rethink his strategies and, more important, his priorities. Sparkling characters; engaging themes.
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.
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)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.68(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.59(d)
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

Meet the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal and was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the illustrator of many books for children, including Frindle and Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, as well as the Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which was a Caldecott Honor Book. Mr. Selznick divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

Customer Reviews

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Lunch Money 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
laurasgrandpa More than 1 year ago
My granddaughter and loved "Lunch Money". The characters were dynamic and interesting while the situations were plausible and exciting. Clements is a brilliant author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book that i have read in a long time and i reccomend this book to many kids
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrew Clements out did his self again. It was a great book. I read the book in two days not because it was short because it was so good. You should buy this book for your kids. They will enjoy the book.
BooksisterinAZ More than 1 year ago
Lunch Money is a best selling book by Andrew Clements. The story is about a young boy named Greg, he loves to make money. Here are some of the ways he did, sold lemonade, cleaned flours, and much more. Then one day he met a girl across the street named Maura, every thing Greg did she did. Which wasn't ok for Greg. One day at school Greg started selling comic books to the students, so did Maura the next day. Somehow Greg and Maura came together and teamed up. Maura sketched while Greg inked. A day at school came and they weren't aloud to sell comic books anymore because their principle disliked it. That day on at school they had a talk with their principle about no more comic book selling. The next day came, Greg and Maura saw a flier that said " book club" and it was selling comic books!" So from then on Greg and Maura were fighting for their rights to sell comics. I personally think that everybody should read this book so they see people who really have a passion for what they believe in!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read this book but i have read most of this authors other work. They are pretty good books and from what i have read it would definately be a good read. Please respond so i know you got my message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is so predictable and boring there is nothing about lunch money in the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book i hadto give 5 ratings becuse i loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My classmates love andrew clements they have been reading his books since 1st grade and were in 5th grade now. But the point is this is the best book according to all my classmates
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have print copy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book READ NOW!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is full of competition and great
isaac_IG More than 1 year ago
Yes, i would recommend this to a friend. i love money do you ill tell you somebody ho really likes money this kid called Greg Kenton.i would mostly recommend if my friend likes money which i know they do.The other book i like from this author is called called frindle.the part i liked the most part i liked was when the girl and Greg Kenton were fighting for the money and the girl punched Greg in the face and before that the girl tried stealing Greg way of making money which was selling magazine for $.50
American More than 1 year ago
My son had to read this book for school. Great book for 4th graders. He really enjoyed it and they did book reports on it in school. I heard him laugh often while reading to himself in his room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lunch Money by Andrew Clemens has a lot of positives and just a few negatives. One positive is that it is book that all kids can relate to; because almost every kid wants to make money. Another positive about this book; it has illustrations. Lastly, another positive is that it is very easy to understand. One negative about this book is that the story line progresses slowly. Another negative is that it's a very competitive book. Lastly, another negative is that it has very long chapters. Lunch Money by Andrew Clemens varies in a lot of ways. The author of Lunch Money has a very unique writing style. To keep the reader interested, the author made the chapters get shorter as the book progressed. The story also has a lot of conversations in it. He also makes the book very realistic; mostly because it is about kids my age. Andrew Clemens has a very good writing style. I highly recommend Lunch Money by Andrew Clemens. One reason is that it is very easy to understand. Another reason it is a very descriptive book. Lastly, another reason is it is very realistic. There are a few similar novels to this one. One is Frindle by Andrew Clemens. Another is Room One by Andrew Clemens. Lastly another similar novel to lunch money is Things not Seen by Andrew Clemens. One novel I recommend is Crash by jerry spinelli. I recommend this novel because it an interesting book about 6th graders and bullying. Another novel I recommend is Lost and Found by Andrew Clemens. I recommend this novel because it is another book about 6th graders. Lastly I recommend the series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it is a very funny good series.
Pleasantdale More than 1 year ago
This is a really funny book. This girl and boy fight about money. The girl steals the boy's way of making money. That makes him really angry. The girl in the book even punches the boy in the nose because he made her so angry. Most people would like this book if they want to laugh. B.B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who says kids aren¿t rich? Greg Kenton, a talented, creative boy, who is the inventor of Chunky Comics doesn¿t think that. He knows that kids can be rich. The reason for that is because he¿s been making hundreds of dollars since he was in preschool. Then of course, there¿s Maura Shaw. The girl who lives across the street, who copies everything Greg does. She also likes to make money. Greg is good at sports, in school, but most of all at making money. Greg comes up with the idea of making Chunky Comics, and of course, Maura starts making comics too. They have a fight in Mr. Z¿s class and Greg ends up going to the nurse with a bloody nose. Mr. Zenotopoulous is Greg¿s math teacher, who hates to see blood, or hear the word blood. Soon, Maura and Greg are working together to make Chunky Comics. But Mrs. Davenport, the strict principal, will not accept comic books in school. So it¿s Mr. Z, Greg, and Maura fighting against Mrs. Davenport and the school board. Who will win this Battle of the Books? Will everybody work together and think of a plan? Or will the battle get worse and worse?
This book is a great book to read. My favorite part was when Greg and Maura learned to get along. Lunch Money reminds me of a book called Good Grief Third Grade. In this book, Roger is always annoying Marsha. Yet when Roger is gone, Marsha realizes how much she misses him. In the end, they both realize that they like the book Charlotte¿s Web. The lesson learned is ¿sometimes your worst enemy turns into your best friend.¿ This book can teach you how to get along with others.
Andrew Clements is the author of bestsellers that include The Landry News, Lunch Money, and Frindle. Andrew Clements lives with his wife in Westborough, Massachusetts. He is the father of four grown children. I highly recommend that you read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg,lunch money is a very good book for young readers,its about a boy who finds out ways to earn money,he hides his money in odd places and his dad got him a bank acount so he could get even more money.lunch money is a really good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE IT! <P> You know 'pi<_>ss' is p<_>ee, or urine? Cu<_>m is the juice that comes with se<_>x.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago