Lunch Money

Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
For Ages: 8 - 12
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Greg Kenton has always had a natural talent for making money -- despite the annoying rivalry of his neighbor Maura Shaw. Then, just before sixth grade, Greg makes a discovery: Almost every kid at school has an extra quarter or two to spend almost every day.
Multiply a few quarters by a few hundred kids, and for Greg, school suddenly looks like a giant piggy bank. All he needs is the right hammer to crack it open. Candy and gum? Little toys? Sure, kids would love to buy stuff like that at school. But would teachers and the principal permit it? Not likely.
But how about comic books? Comic books might work. Especially the chunky little ones that Greg writes and illustrates himself. Because everybody knows that school always encourages reading and writing and creativity and individual initiative, right?
In this funny and timely novel, Andrew Clements again holds up a mirror to real life, and invites young readers to think about money, school, friendship, and what it means to be a success.
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Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689866838 | 
  • July 2005 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $19.99

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Topics
What is Greg's greatest talent? How does he earn money? Do you like to earn money? How do you earn money? What do you do with your money?
In Chapter 2, what discovery does Greg make about quarters? What happens when he tries to sell candy and toys at school? Is Principal Davenport correct in her actions? Explain your answer.
What does Greg sell at the beginning of sixth grade? Describe how he learned to create this product over the summer. Would you have been willing to work so hard to make something to sell? What does this tell you about Greg?
What competition do Chunky Comics face? Who creates the competition? Describe the relationship between these characters in the first half of the novel.
What does Mr. Z like about numbers? What happens when he sees Maura give Greg a bloody nose? How does Mr. Z feel about Greg's situation? What role does math play in his analysis?
When they finally have a serious discussion about comics, what does Greg realize about Maura? What does Maura realize about Greg? How does Mr. Z analyze Greg's claim that Maura "stole" his idea? What happens when the two sixth graders begin to work together?
How did Mr. Z choose his job? What do Mr. Z's comments about wealth and careers make Greg wonder about his get-rich goal?
Why does Mrs. Davenport call comic books "practically toys, and bad toys at that"? Is she correct to extend her selling ban to comic books?
Why is Chapter 1 see more

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