The Lemonade Crime

by Jacqueline Davies (2012)

A Sweet Spot selection. 

The Lemonade Crime continues the squabbling adventures of Jessie and Evan Treski — a brother and sister we all recognize. Deep down they love each other, but given their natural jealousies and sensitivities, they spend a lot of time being prickly. Following in the wake of Judy Blume, student readers quickly recognize real kids behaving like kids they know, and they want to read more.

Which is why we recommend reading the sequels to Jacqueline Davies’s The Lemonade War. Unlike its predecessor, The Lemonade Crime isn’t about math.  Instead, it’s about justice. Specifically, Jessie and Evan trade accusations regarding a petty theft which occurs at a classmate’s house during at a pool party. Once the dust has settled, Jacqueline Davies uses that tried-and-true dramatic convention of a trial!

Not a courtroom trial. A bona fide student trial. Given that Jessie Treski is involved, it turns out to be a trial where everyone learns a lot about the law.  We learn about its forms (what to wear and how to talk), but even more, we learn about its principles. How is justice served? She’s a little bit like Tom Sawyer this way. A little over the top, but in an endearing manner that entices the kids (and parents!) to follow.

Is justice served? It wouldn’t be fair to tell. But it is safe to share that through the elementary school odyssey of Evan and Jessie, readers of all ages will reflect on the right and wrong thing to do.  When to be trustworthy and when to be honest.  The stuff kids think about all the time. Come to think of it — that’s what adults think about, too. (I guess that’s why they call it literature.)