The Lemonade War

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I’m a bit slow on the draw with this book. It’s been on my radar for many months, ever since Fuse 8 pointed us to the trailer earlier this year. Well this week it finally showed up on the library reserve shelf for me and (pardon the pun) I just guzzled it down.

There’s something about this book that makes me feel like it’s going to be around for a long time. Is it Davies’ super-smart premise? Is it the way she has captured masterfully the love/hate relationship between young siblings? Is it the fact that she understands how in a child’s world, the balance can tip in a heartbeat from “just kidding” to “deadly serious”? I have to think it is a combination of all of these qualities.

The Treski kids may be brother and sister, but they’re as different as they come. Evan is “people smart” – he knows how to talk to just about everyone, and he knows how to read people’s gestures and unspoken thoughts. His younger sister Jessie is “math smart,” so much so that she is skipping grade 3 altogether and will be starting grade 4 in her brother’s class in less than a week. This fact, of course, is eating Evan up inside. As Labor Day approaches, he is starting to imagine the utter humiliation of having his whip-smart little sister upstage him in front of his peers. Evan’s hidden worries are at the root of the conflict that lead the siblings straight into their Lemonade War. With this situation as backdrop, Davies manages to squeeze in (ha ha ha), a quick, kid-friendly intro to business and marketing – not to mention a spot-on portrayal of sibling rivalry.

I’ve read plenty of REALLY BAD books that explore math concepts in a horrible, hit you over the head with a club kind of way. (Hooray! Math is fun! Let’s go on a fantastic adventure in Math Land with Mr. Triangle!) Then there are a few keepers that help kids to see how math can in fact apply to real life. Davies’ book is one of those. I could use it in the classroom without feeling like I was jumping on the literature and math bandwagon.

Love the fact that this book has depth and goes down easy as a tall, frosty glass o’ lemonade. List of life lessons provided by Ms. Davies:

– there’s room in the world for different kinds of smart
– there is no enemy like a sister…
– revenge is never sweet (kinda sour actually…)
– there is more than one way to be successful

Teachers should take a look at these links for suggestions on bringing this title into your classroom:

The Lemonade War
Discussion Guide

By the way… just about everyone else out there loves it too:

propernoun
emily reads
semincolon (reviewed just yesterday!)
Fuse 8

No wonder this title is already on the Cybils nominations list for Middle Grade.

p.s. Do the meme thing… just scroll down… I know you want to.

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