Lunch Money

If your home-schooled kids are the least bit curious about public school, Lunch money is an excellent tutorial. Have them follow 12 year-old Greg Kenton around Ashworth Intermediate School for a few days and they’ll have a new appreciation for how good they’ve got it!

Greg has got a mind for moneymaking, and when his lucrative toy business is banned at school, he starts selling his homemade “Chunky comics” instead. He’s cornered the comic-book market until competition in the form of long time rival Maura brings him both trouble, and a golden opportunity.

Clements, a former teacher, nails public school life in Lunch Money. The narrator perceives school as strangely similar to prison life; mobbed lunchrooms with janitors as prison guards, “convicts” going out to the exercise yard every afternoon, and the warden (principal) chiming in over the loudspeaker with authoritative orders.

Besides bringing back chilling memories to me, Lunch money, with its practical applications of economics, capitalism and math principles, was a motivating read for my boys. My 10 year-old was inspired to design a few comics of his own-who can complain about that? On the flip side, Greg is egotistical, bossy, and greedy; he’ll make a perfect CEO someday, but his personality during most of the book made it difficult at times for my boys to like him. Thankfully Greg shapes up by the end of the story. If your child enjoyed titles such as The Great Brain or The Toothpaste Millionaire, chances are he’ll enjoy Lunch Money as well.

Can a homeschool kid enjoy a story that centers on public school? Absolutely. School is just the setting; money matters and unlikely partnerships are the heart of the story. Plus, the book solidified for us how sweet it is to be home-schooled.

Clements has written numerous stories for children, including his award winning Frindle, the story of a boy who invents a new word (soon to be reviewed).

For more information on the author check out his website below.

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