Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
There are so many things I like about this book-- the realistic conflict between the two siblings, the different perspectives shown in each chapter--illuminating how miscommunication so easily occurs, the business lessons tied into the lemonade sales, the way math problems are slipped into the story and the wonderful strength of the relationship between Jessie and Evan. The Lemonade War is a beautifully written book that chronicles discord between siblings Evan and Jessie and how they overcome their conflict.
Evan and Jessie have a very different reactions when Evan, a fourth grader, finds out his younger sister Jessie, a second grader, will skip third grade and be in his fourth grade class. Jessie is relieved that her big brother will be able to look after her. Evan however, is worried Jessie will make him feel stupid and look bad in front his friends. Jessie is the book smart sibling whereas Evan has the people smarts. What starts out as a small issue spirals out of control as the story progresses and more and more miscommunication and misunderstand come between the two siblings. As the end of the book nears the two realize that things have gotten out of hand and they must communicate their true feelings to one another.
The other element in the book it the actual lemonade war. Evan and Jessie make a bet over who can earn $100 faster by selling lemonade. The book is filled with business and economic tips on how to improve a business. Additionally, each sibling has to use math to figure out how to make more money. They take us along on their thinking process showing us two different routes to discovering the answer to a problem. This helps highlights one of the important elements in the story--how people learn.
Davies has an amazing ability to skillfully write the emotional mindset of the two main characters making the reader able to root for each one and also to see the flaws in each persons character. Not overly preachy, but educational, emotional, and very engrossing this is a wonderful book for elementary school aged kids.