November 6, 2020
Genre/Categories: Middle-Grade Fiction, Friendship, Adventure, Grief
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
Ten year old Lemonade Liberty Witt believes her mom about making lemonade when life gets difficult. However, Lemon faces circumstances that test her lemonade-making abilities. After the death of her mother, she is sent to live in another town with a grandfather she’s never met. Her life gets better when she makes a new friend, Tobin Sky, who is CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. Yes, there have been suspected Bigfoot sightings in this wooded Northern California community! Lemon becomes Tobin’s assistant, but they discover something more important than Bigfoot.
Middle-Grade Love: If you’ve been around here for long, you know I love an occasional Middle-Grade read! Here are a few reasons I love MG Lit:
- often can be read in one sitting (or one day)
- they are great palate cleansers between heavier reads (or when you are in a reading slump)
- most always include a generous serving of hope
- relevant and meaningful issues presented in appropriate ways for young readers
- many of them build empathy and compassion
- many present opportunities for all children to see themselves in a story
Lemonade: I fall hard for quirky and spunky middle grade girls! Lemonade Liberty Witt is dealing with grief and an unexpected move, but she tries her best to make lemonade out of her circumstances. Her friendship with Tobin is realistic and mutually beneficial. She is aware of her angry outbursts (like lava), and willing to put in the effort to rebuild her life and give her grandfather a chance.
Imagination: Children will be entertained with the amount of imagination in this story as Lemon and Tobin track Bigfoot! I love that the grandfather and a few kindhearted members of the community play along.
Themes: I love the thoughtful and poignant themes in Lemons.
- grief and loss
- new home and family
- grandparent and granddaughter relationship
- supporting and understanding each other (we are ALL dealing with something!)
- expressions of anger (love the lava metaphor)
- community support and involvement
- adult PTSD
The author’s background as a child and family therapist adds to the depth and the realistic exploration of themes in Lemons. Even though difficult issues are addressed, the thoughtful content is appropriate for middle grade readers.
Trigger Warning for loss of a parent.
Recommended: I wish I were still teaching because I would use Lemons to explore friendship and appropriate expressions of anger. I think younger middle-grade readers interested in amateur detective work will find the inclusion of Bigfoot fun to think about! Lemons will be a perfect parent/child buddy read, too.
Thanks Kayla @ Kayla’s Only Heart for sending me a copy to read!
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Meet the Author,Melissa Savage
Melissa Savage is a writer and a child and family therapist. Her desire to write purposeful, issue driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write Lemons. Melissa lives in Minneapolis. You can follow her on Twitter at @melissadsavage, and visit her at melissadsavage.com.
Do you enjoy middle-grade literature?
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