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Flat Broke

Flat Broke

By: Gary Paulsen
Publisher: Random House/Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-74002-9 
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: August 1, 2011 

Gary Paulsen is a hugely hysterical YA writer who created this story as a follow-up for his outstanding book, Liar, Liar.

In this new adventure for Kevin, he is struggling with the fact that, because of all his lies last time around, he has since lost his allowance, lost his part-time job at Aunt Buzzie’s shop, and his babysitting money that he gets for watching Markie after school may just dry up as well, because Markie’s parents are getting a divorce and fighting about money.

Kevin is still pining away for Tina - The Most Beautiful Girl in the World - and he knows that, without a little cash, she’s never going to be his girlfriend. Not only that, but it will be impossible to invite her to the school dance if he doesn’t have any money to pay for the tickets.

Soon Kevin joins forces with his best friend JonPaul (the jock/health nut who is a real germophobe and is frightened by absolutely everything that has to do with dirt, snot, or saliva) to become a true entrepreneur. One idea Kevin comes up with is running poker games, and taking a percentage because he supplies the chips, cards, room, and junk food. He also takes the gift his sister has for make-up and hair care and rents her out as a supreme stylist to her friends, as well as taking the time to clean up all of his neighbor’s garages for a large fee. What this entrepreneur doesn’t count on is the fact that with a new business, you also have to know the rules. And all the ideas poor Kevin seems to come up with are making people even more angry than they were about the lying incidents in the recent past.

Again, Gary Paulsen has the wit, charm, and ‘laugh-out-loud’ lines that bring us all back to a time when we were that kid just struggling to get by in the real world. Memories come flooding back about that perfect sister who was a real pain in the butt, as well as neighbors who just didn’t understand that what we were doing was in order to get rich - just like what they were doing out there in the real world before they became cantankerous old farts.

Quill Says: A fantastic read, as always, from the great Mr. Paulsen. All fans will look forward to what Kevin has up his sleeve for the next time around.

Feathered Quill

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