Hawkins, Aaron The Year Money Grew on Trees
Houghton Mifflin/Clarion/Graphia/Kingfisher 2010 293p 16.00 978-0-547-27977-0 elm/ms E-BN
This is a heart-warming and humor-filled story about a boy who takes over an apple orchard and makes it productive against all odds.
This beautifully written tale about Jackson Jones, a 13-year-old boy who takes over his neighbor╒s apple orchard and makes it productive, is a winner. Hawkins has a real ear for detail, and for seeing things from a teenager╒s point of view in all their complexity. Jackson has to weigh his neighbor╒s offer of the job running the apple orchard against his dad╒s desire for him to work down at the scrap-dealer╒s place for the meanest man in town. Then, once he has made his decision, he needs to figure out how he will wring productivity from a 300-tree orchard without any cash, skills, or staff. Following his every thought pattern, the reader is gradually drawn into the story. One of the best parts of the story are the characterizations, of Jackson, his siblings and cousins, and the other people in his New Mexico farming region.
The reviewer is not sure students will be interested in this tale ... after all, it has no vampires, creatures from other worlds, or chase scenes. But once they get to know Jackson Jones, it is hoped that their interest will be piqued and they will stay with this satisfying story. Realistic Fiction Kennedy(2), Carol