Lawn Boy
Lawn Boy

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Annotation: Both a vibrant, painfully honest coming-of-age story and a sharp social commentary on class, this novel follows young Mike Muñoz as he struggles to overcome the hand he's been dealt and reach for his dreams.
Catalog Number: #182064
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Workman Pub. Co.
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 312 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-616-20262-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4400-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-616-20262-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4400-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017032613
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
An aimless young man decides to get his life together, but life has other plans.Mike Muñoz doesn't quite know what he wants out of life, but he knows he deserves better than what he's got now: a terrible job cutting lawns, a truck that barely runs, and a tiny house packed with a disabled brother, an exhausted mother, and his mother's broke boyfriend who likes to watch porn in the living room while jamming on his bass guitar. Soon enough, however, he doesn't even have the job or the truck, and, in an ill-fated attempt to guilt-trip his mom into kicking out her boyfriend, Mike takes up residence in a shed in the backyard. Despite the steady stream of bad luck and worse decisions, Evison (This Is Your Life Harriet Chance, 2015, etc.) brings genuine humor to Mike's trials and tribulations. The writing is razor-sharp, and Evison has an unerring eye for the small details that snap a scene or a character into focus. The first-person narration turns Mike into a living, breathing person, and the reader can't help but get pulled into his worldview. "After all, most of us are mowing someone else's lawn, one way or another, and most of us can't afford to travel the world or live in New York City. Most of us feel like the world is giving us a big fat middle finger when it's not kicking us in the face with a steel-toed boot. And most of us feel powerless. Motivated but powerless." The novel has a light tone and is laugh-out-loud funny at times, but at a certain point, Mike's trials and tribulations move from comically frustrating to just frustrating. With so much going wrong for him, the reader can expect that the universe will smile on Mike eventually, but there's only so many sick family members, unpaid bills, bad jobs, awkward situations, and thwarted plans a character can suffer through. We root for Mike while also wishing we didn't have to root so hard.A book about triumphing over obstacles, and obstacles, and obstacles, and more obstacles.
Publishers Weekly
This moving fifth novel from Evison (This is Your Life, Harriet Chance) enters the wry, conflicted mind of Mike Muñoz, a recently fired yard worker with a real talent for topiary and a genuine love for landscaping. When Mike is sacked after refusing to comply with a client-s orders to pick up after his dog, he takes refuge in the one place in the world that-s always welcomed him: the library. As he tries to figure out what to do next, Mike contemplates writing the -Great American Landscaping Novel--the sort of novel he-d like to read-but writing novels, he realizes, isn-t for people like him: -landscapers, especially unemployed ones... had bills to pay. Cars to fix. Disabled siblings to care for.- Evison convincingly evokes the small disasters and humiliations that beset America-s working poor. Mike-s gradual growth into self-awareness is punctuated by moments of human kindness and grace that transpire in and among broken-down trucks, trailer parks, and strip malls. Focusing on the workers who will only ever be welcome in gated communities as hired help, Evison-s quiet novel beautifully considers the deterioration of the American Dream. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Winner of the Alex Award "Jonathan Evison's voice is pure magic. In Lawn Boy , at once a vibrant coming-of-age novel and a sharp social commentary on class, Evison offers a painfully honest portrait of one young man's struggle to overcome the hand he's been dealt in life and reach for his dreams. It's a journey you won't want to miss, with an ending you won't forget." -- Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work--and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew--he knows that he's got to be the one to shake things up if he's ever going to change his life. But how? In this funny, angry, touching, and ultimately deeply inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man on a journey to discover himself, a search to find the secret to achieving the American dream of happiness and prosperity. That's the birthright for all Americans, isn't it? If so, then what is Mike Muñoz's problem? Though he tries time and again to get his foot on the first rung of that ladder to success, he can't seem to get a break. But then things start to change for Mike, and after a raucous, jarring, and challenging trip, he finds he can finally see the future and his place in it. And it's looking really good. Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, about overcoming cultural discrimination, and about standing up for oneself.


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