The Lemonade War

by Jacqueline Davies (2007)

Also available in Spanish.

Can math provide a theme for a One School, One Book selection? You bet your calculator it can.

The Lemonade War is not really about math.  It just isn’t afraid to use math.

The Lemonade War is about Evan Treski and his younger sister, Jessie. Jessie wants to keep up with her brother, which is easy when it comes to numbers and math and business.  What Jessie is missing is that social sense that allows her to read and understand how others react to her intelligence and her drive. Others, including her brother Evan.

As much as he loves her, Evan bristles at his sister’s creativity and energy and non-stop persistence, and most of all, at the notion that she may be joining him in the 4th grade.

Evan and Jessie’s relationship, with all of its confused feelings, forms the backdrop to Jacqueline Davies’s perceptive, sensitive Lemonade War. The foreground is the competition that Evan and Jessie have, premised on a bet over who can make the most money selling lemonade in the waning days of summer.

That competition makes for a lively, brisk read that always engages both students and parents. But as Evan and Jessie duke it out over supplies and advertising and marketing techniques, they also have to use some math. (Jessie is better than Evan here.) And Jacqueline Davies does not shy away from providing the math lessons, the questions that haunt Evan and will interest and challenge and hopefully motivate your students.

No, it’s not a math book. It’s a well-written, funny, insightful children’s novel that includes math. And that means you can do all the traditional One School, One Book activities with it:  the funny, mysterious, engaged assembly; the daily trivia questions; the ‘best lemonade’ tasting banquet.  And you can also do some math. (As dozens of One School, One Book schools have already tried and enjoyed.) What more could you ask for?

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