Seeing children read books makes my heart happy, but I also think it is important to know what a child is reading as seemingly innocent children’s books could be introducing a child to content or themes that are not appropriate for their age. I don’t know about you, but I rely on honest book reviews to help me vet appropriate content for my classroom library. Today, I want to offer you my honest review of The Lemonade War.
Evan and Jessie are not only brother and sister, but they are the best of friends. There’s just one problem . . . Jessie has been approved by the school to skip ahead and join fourth grade . . . and she’s has been assigned to Evan’s class. Rather than discussing their deep thoughts and feelings, the surprising news sparks an all out war . . . a lemonade war! Will Evan be able to prove that he’s smarter than Jessie? Will Jessie be able to prove that she can fit in with the older crowd? Will this war ever come to an end?
In The Lemonade War, Jaqueline Davies does a wonderful job of incorporating math and business skills into the storyline. Often, as Evan and Jessie look to build their lemonade stand businesses, Davies incorporates business terms and definitions such as “franchise” or “value-added”. Young readers get to see these business terms put into action as Evan and Jessie use calculations to determine operating costs and profits. This duo’s adventures might cause a reader to spark an interest in entreprenaurship.
While Evan and Jessie spend most of their time being mad at each other and looking for ways to get even, the conflict does resolve at the end of the story. In the end, Evan and Jessie realize that they made negative assumptions about each other and the school situation, without getting all the facts. Once they each discussed how they were feelings, they apologized to one another and became a team once again, ending the lemonade war.
Throughout the book, Jaqueline Davies paints a classic picture of two people viewing a situation differently. Rather than discussing each other’s view, the characters make assumptions about each other and decide to settle the score by starting a lemonade stand contest. The rules stated that whoever could make $100 is five days would win all the money. The contest causes Evan and Jessie to, not only look for creative ways to build their business, but also ways to sabotage each other. This storyline gives adults the perfect opportunity to discuss proper conflict resolution. In Evan and Jessie’s case, their feelings of anger toward one another could have been assuaged if they had been honest about how they felt about being in the same class. Often times, conflicts are made worse because of assumptions rather than true conversations about feelings.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Lemonade War. I found it to be a fun loving story that ended in a positive way. It provides a lot of great discussion points in terms of conflict resolution, starting a business, point of view, and more! I would highly recommend this book for third to fifth graders.
Want to make the most out of your Lemonade War experience? Check out these novel study resources!