Lawn Boy
Lawn Boy
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Catalog Number: #203540
Format: Publisher's Hardcover (Large Print)
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 410
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-432-85105-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-432-85105-7
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
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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Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 5-9

One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold.If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.Age Range: 8-12 Grade Level: 3-7 Lexile Measure: 710L

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