Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Lemonade Crime

The Lemonade Crime by Jacqueline Davies (Houghton Mifflin, 2011)

This is one of the many books I read for the Cybils awards, and one I enjoyed very much.

Here's the dust-jacket blurb:

Fact: One week ago two hundred and eight dollars disappeared from the pocket of Evan Treski's shorts.

Fact: Evan and Jessie had worked extremely hard over the summer to earn that money--mixing lemonade, hauling it all over town, standing in the hot summer sun for every nickel of business.

Fact: Scott Spencer just bought something very, very expensive.

Accusation: Scott Spencer stands accused of the crime of stealing the lemonade money. Class 4-O hereby calls him to stand trial before a judge, witnesses, and a jury of his peers.

Will the truth come out in court? And if it does, will justice prevail?

The Lemonade Crime is a sequel to The Lemonade War, but you can enjoy it as a stand-alone. This is classic middle grade, as far as I'm concerned. Evan and his younger and precocious sister Jessie (they are in the same 4th grade class because Jessie skipped a grade), are strong characters who are hugely motivated to solve this mystery. Each chapter begins with a legal term and explanation  (e.g. "Accused: a person who has been charged with a crime or who is on trial for a crime), and Jessie transforms herself into a believable prosecutor. The plot moves swiftly and, although the guilty party is never really in doubt, what keeps one's interest is what is going to become of him. I think this short novel would really appeal to the classic middle grade age group of 3rd through 5th grade.

If you want to study how to write third person with dual point of views (Evan and Jessie's), this would be a very good novel to study.

For more information about author Jacqueline Davies, you can go to her website HERE

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger. For other participants, please see my blog roll under the wonderful MMGM badge (of honor.)


  1. This sounds like a fun book. Love the title. And being an attorney I'd probably like seeing how they spotlight the legal terms. Thanks for spotlighting this.

  2. Firstly, I love this cover. It's very interesting. The story sounds just as interesting, but also really fun. Thanks for highlighting this one!

  3. Nice to see books for young readers that aren't written in first person.

  4. My kids enjoyed The Lemonade War, but I don't think either of them has picked up this one yet. From the writing perspective, I like your tip.

  5. Thanks for the tip: "If you want to study how to write third person with dual point of views (Evan and Jessie's), this would be a very good novel to study."
    I'm still struggling with that in my writing so I'm checking both books out asap.

  6. I enjoyed this book too (reviewed it last year), although I think I liked The Lemonade War better (which explained economics in terms even I could understand).

    Nice review, Michael!

  7. I am a looking forward to reading this one esp. after The Lemonade War. Ms. Davies knows how to spin a tale!

  8. I loved The Lemonade War and have this on my to-read list. Glad it was a good sequel!

  9. Thanks for the tip! It sounds interesting - memories of the good old days. I'm always in search of a good MG read. I'm glad I found your blog!


Youse got something to say? Well, say it then. (The Don and I will shoot you... a personal reply, that is. But if we can't find your e-mail, we'll just reply in the comment box.)