Friday, May 09, 2014

Reread #19 The Lemonade War

The Lemonade War. Jacqueline Davies. 2007. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 192 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed this book even more the second time around. (I first reviewed it in October 2007). The Lemonade War is the story of two siblings--Evan and Jessie--and their week-long war over who can make the most money selling lemonade. Officially, this war is all about WHO can earn $100 in just five days, the last five days of summer vacation. The winner takes it all. If he wins, he gets to keep his earnings and her earnings. And vice versa. He dreams of an iPod. She dreams of giving money to an animal rescue league.

Until the last week of summer, these two kids had had an enjoyable summer, with plenty of time together and plenty of time to themselves. But when a letter comes from the school alerting the mom to a big change, well, Evan loses it. Evan thought it was bad enough that his sister was skipping a grade, that she would be in the same grade--fourth. NOW he learns that they will be in the same class. (The school has gone from two fourth grade classes to one.) Evan and Jessie react very differently. Evan focuses only on his weaknesses: he's horrible at math, he doesn't want everyone to know that his sister is SMARTER and BETTER than he is. Evan may see Jessie that way, but Jessie sure doesn't see herself that way. Jessie has trouble reading people; she doesn't always connect the dots between what people say and what people mean. Most of her second grade year, she was miserable, absolutely miserable. There was even a "We Hate Jessie" club led by a group of particularly mean girls. Jessie is worried that she'll have just as much trouble in fourth grade socially. Evan, she feels, is oh-so-comfortable and oh-so-confident. He never seems to have trouble talking to anyone. If only she could be like him!!!

One positive thing about this war, in my opinion, is that it challenges both Jessie and Evan to rise above their weaknesses. Evan must face his fear of math, of figuring out HOW to do "story problems" in real life. With Evan, readers get to see the practical side of *why* math is important. Jessie faces her fear of talking to people, of taking the first steps, of making friends. She seeks out girls who will be in her class, and, she makes allies, in a way.

The Lemonade War is, in a way, all about problem-solving, of meeting life's problems with determination. That and it's about love and hate.

I really liked the character of Jessie. I did. I liked how she clings to Charlotte's Web. I liked her spirit, her determination. Not that she was perfect. Not that she didn't make mistakes. But they both made mistakes.

I would definitely recommend this book!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Suko 5:20 PM  

Becky, this sounds so good. I enjoy children's fiction very much at times.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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