The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies reminded me of my own relationship with my sister growing up. The main characters, Evan and Jessie live with their mother. Evan is a charismatic fourth grader, who has strong interpersonal skills. Jessie is academically strong, yet she lacks her brother’s social graces. The problem in the story is that Jessie will be skipping third grade and has been assigned to Evan’s fourth grade class in the fall.
Evan worries that his genius sister will make him look dumb in front of his peers, meanwhile Jessie worries about fitting in. Each character’s insecurities build and result in the declaration of a lemonade stand war.
The Lemonade War (Guided Reading Level: S) is great for readers in grades 3-5. The characters’ actions and reactions are very realistic. The real-life problems will engage readers, and they will want to keep reading to find what happens. Since teaching conflict resolution has been on my mind lately, I really liked that Evan and Jessie demonstrated ways to communicate effectively and to problem solve together. Each character is accountable for his/her actions and apologizes when appropriate.
One other aspect of the book that I found impressive was the tips for increasing sales. Real-life math problems were woven into the story along with business-aligned vocabulary (i.e. value added and gross sales).
The Lemonade War ends with a cliffhanger, which sets up the sequel The Lemonade Crime. There are a total of five books in the series to date.