A while ago I had the opportunity to visit Aaron in his office on campus and we had a great talk about this book and his writing (please view the post here). Aaron is an Electrical Engineering professor and has published two books on that subject (you can see them here or go to his website below).
The Year Money Grew on Trees began as a memoir of Aaron's early years in New Mexico and expanded to become a great story about hard work, family, and common sense (well, I'm sure the original was full of that too). AND Aaron Hawkins did the internal, more technical illustrations.
The paperback edition (shown below) was just released on Nov. 15th! Just in time for Christmas. (The hardcover is shown on the left and was released last year.)
(Amazon link)(From Goodreads)With frostbitten fingers, sleepless nights and sore muscles, 14-year-old Jackson Jones and his posse of cousins discover the lost art of winging it when they take over an orchard of 300 wild apple trees. They know nothing about pruning or irrigation or pest control, but figure it out they must—if they are to avoid losing $8,000 (because of an unfair contract).
With spot illustrations for mechanical-loving readers—the gears of a tractor, a plow with disks—and with mathematical calculations of the great mount of money to be earned, this novel has the sort of can-do spirt and sense of earned independence not often found in today's fiction.