Monday, October 27, 2014

The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins

Jackson is a 14 year old living in a relatively rural area of New Mexico in the 1980’s. His family is relatively poor and his neighbor, Mrs. Nelson, used to own all the land but had to sell some of it to his family because of bad financial times. Mrs. Nelson seems to resent the neighbors and is an ornery older lady. One day, after her son storms out of the house, she calls Jackson in to her house and offers him a deal. If he gets her orchard in shape, she will consider him the ‘true heir’ to the orchard because her son doesn’t deserve it. After a little discussion, he agreed to pay her $8000 and any profit above that is his. This begins the year of hard work for Jackson. He, despite knowing nothing initially, does research and seeks the help of his siblings and his cousins. This is a story about his adventures in trying to whip the orchard into shape with his cousins and adhering to his contract with Mrs. Nelson. I enjoyed this story but did feel sorry for him as he worked so hard.