17 October, 2017

[Review] The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

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Series: Lemonade War #1
Release Date: 23 April, 2007
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle Grade/Family/Business
ISBN:  9780618750436
Edition: E-Book
Review Written: 31 August, 2017 
Summary: For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.

Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

See more at Jacqueline Davies's website.

Honestly, I’d heard about this book before I ever read it, it’s one that I’ve found teachers like to favor for reading lists. Still, when my father asked if I had read it (to determine if he should purchase his own e-book version despite his workplace purchasing a physical copy for him) I had to admit that I hadn’t. It wasn’t exactly something I’d have read to my morning Story Time group, and since I’m newly settled into my position of being the only Youth Services librarian for a small system; I decided it was time I read it.

The Lemonade War follows a brother and sister duo who have recently discovered they’ll be in the same class at the start of the next year. This understandably has upset Evan who had been looking forward to returning to school in hopes of impressing the girls of his grade. Now he’s afraid he’ll be shown up by Jessie who is brilliant in school (though she does lack interpersonal skills) as she skips the 3rd grade straight into 4th. Thus, he’s been avoiding Jessie for two days when the book starts, and when she starts bothering him to do something fun with the last few days of freedom, Evan decides enough is enough. He calls up a friend and they make a lemonade stand together.

Jessie, left out of the loop with the Lemonade Stand (which is her favorite thing to do in the Summer) decides to hunt down someone else to do a lemonade stand with her. Somehow, she manages to find Megan Moriarty, Evan’s crush, to help her start a lemonade stand of her own. Instead of fixing the growing problem between her brother and herself however, this development only makes things worse. Accused by Evan of being a baby, the pair end up agreeing to a Lemonade War, first person to $100 wins, or whoever makes the most money if they both reach $100. Using a book their mother wrote for a client as a model, Jessie and Evan spend the next five days attempting to out-sell each other.

The outcome of the book is rather cute, the siblings makeup and despite the theft of Jessie’s original money (and Megan’s part too since she gave it to Jessie to donate to the Animal wildlife fund) still manage to have a good end of summer. The pair even go in together for a poster contest on Labor Day and win the first prize with their skills on how they both earned a profit from their lemonade stands.

The story is cute, and there are sequels to it out now. It’s well written for a middle grade book, even if it’s not really my cup of tea. Overall, it’s good for middle grade fiction with some good tips to kids on how to be fiscally savvy.

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