Reviews for Lemonade Crime


Booklist Reviews 2011 May #1
*Starred Review* After skipping third grade, precocious Jessie and her older brother, Evan, start school in the same fourth-grade class. It's a difficult adjustment for both, but one thing unites them: their certainty and outrage that their classmate Scott stole $208 (lemonade-stand takings) from Evan's bedroom. Readers of The Lemonade War (2007) will remember the money's disappearance, but Davies deftly fills in the background here. When Jessie directly accuses Scott of theft and involves the class in a secret, carefully conducted trial after school, tensions rise. In the end, justice is served, but truth is elusive. Evan discovers it only after refriending Scott. Davies' well-crafted narrative gives the characters' different points of view credibility while steadily building the tension, and Llewellyn's drawings of evidence enhance the sense of immediacy. The idea that one is innocent until proven guilty is a judicial concept that resounds through the narrative. Supporting the legal theme, definitions of terms such as circumstantial evidence and perjury appear at the beginning of each chapter. The realistic depiction of the children's emotions and ways of expressing them will resonate with readers. Great for discussion, this involving and, at times, riveting chapter book has something to say and a deceptively simple way of saying it. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
When the boy who stole $200 from Jessie and Evan in The Lemonade War brags about his newly purchased Xbox, Jessie demands a trial, with her brother as plaintiff and herself as his lawyer. Davies again does a good job showing what motivates each character, depicting them with some shades of gray as they don't always live up to their own standards. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #4
This sequel picks up almost immediately after The Lemonade War, as younger sister Jessie joins fourth-grade brother Evan in his class in the fall after skipping a grade. She tries to respect Evan's need to stay apart from her, but when the boy who stole $200 from them in the previous book brags about his new Xbox, she can't resist coming up with a plan. Jessie takes everyone by surprise when she assigns each member of the class a role to play in an afterschool trial, with her brother as plaintiff and herself as his lawyer. Taken by surprise, the accused, Scott, agrees to abide by the jury's decision. Each chapter begins with the definition of a legal term, such as impartial, and while this doesn't have the clear teaching moments of the previous book with its math and business angles, readers will come away with some understanding of how the justice system works. Davies again does a good job showing what motivates each character, depicting them with some shades of gray as they don't always live up to their own standards. susan dove lempke Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 April #2

This sequel to The Lemonade War (2007), picking up just a few days later, focuses on how the fourth graders take justice into their own hands after learning that the main suspect in the case of the missing lemonade-stand money now owns the latest in game-box technology.

Siblings Evan and Jessie (who skipped third grade because of her precocity) are sure Scott Spencer stole the $208 from Evan's shorts and want revenge, especially as Scott's new toy makes him the most popular kid in class, despite his personal shortcomings. Jessie's solution is to orchestrate a full-blown trial by jury after school, while Evan prefers to challenge Scott in basketball. Neither channel proves satisfactory for the two protagonists (whose rational and emotional reactions are followed throughout the third-person narrative), though, ultimately, the matter is resolved. Set during the week of Yom Kippur, the story raises beginning questions of fairness, integrity, sin and atonement. Like John Grisham's Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer (2010), much of the book is taken up with introducing courtroom proceedings for a fourth-grade level of understanding. Chapter headings provide definitions  ("due diligence," "circumstantial evidence," etc.) and explanation cards/documents drawn by Jessie are interspersed.

Readers will enjoy this sequel from a plot perspective and will learn how to play-act a trial, though they may not engage with the characters enough to care about how the justice actually pans out. (Fiction. 8-10)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 August

Gr 4-6--Events in The Lemonade War (Houghton Harcourt, 2007) are over, and fourth grade has just started. Jessie and Evan are in the same class, and neither sibling is quite comfortable with this situation. Jessie is the youngest kid in the class, thanks to skipping third grade. She wisely gives her brother plenty of space. When she arrives on the playground each morning, she hangs on the outskirts and observes. But her strong sense of fairness and dislike for Scott Spencer cause her to speak up when he cuts in line one morning. Then he begins bragging about the new video-game system he just got, thanks to his mom's connections. Jessie wonders where he got the money for it. And once she shares her suspicions with Evan, a new war is on. The last one involved which of them could make the most money during the last week before school. This time, it's a legal war. Evan is convinced that Scott stole his lemonade-stand proceeds but he can't prove it. Now that there's circumstantial evidence pointing at Scott, Jessie and Evan join forces to make the case. Each chapter heading defines a tenet of our legal system and frames the action. Short chapters, realistic dialogue and social dynamics, humor, and suspense will keep even reluctant readers turning pages to the satisfying conclusion. The Lemonade Crime is certainly a first purchase for collections that have The Lemonade War. But it can stand alone and would make a lovely read-aloud, especially in tween classrooms, where it's all about justice and fairness.--Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ

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