This sequel toÂ The Lemonade WarÂ (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'sÂ Theodore Boone, Kid LawyerÂ (2010), much of the book is taken up with introducing courtroom proceedings for a fourth-grade level of understanding. Chapter headings provide definitions Â ("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.Â (Fiction. 8-10)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
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[Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.