My oldest daughter reads almost anything she can get her hands on, but she does have a few favorite series that are special to her. One of these is Jacqueline Davies' Lemonade War series. She has enjoyed the first two books, and was thrilled to see The Bell Bandit, a third installment coming out in May. Lucky for her, I was able to receive a copy through Amazon Vine and we have already enjoyed it.
While I will admit to not being entirely sold on The Lemonade War, I did enjoy The Lemonade Crime more than the first book, and was excited to see how things would develop in this newest title. The Bell Bandit could easily be a stand-alone novel, venturing away from the lemonade plotline. Jessie and Evan are going with their mom to visit their grandmother. Her house accidentally caught on fire after she left the stove on too long and their mom needs to be there to help out and find out what is going on. It is easy to see from book's beginning that their grandmother is no longer herself. She is easily confused and even forgets who her grandchildren are. Jessie becomes friends with a sixth grade boy next door, Maxwell. Maxwell introduces her to Get Smart, an old television show that he enjoys and the two decide to start doing some spying of their own. This is probably a good thing considering Jessie notices the big bell on her Grandma's property has been stolen. The bell has been passed down through the generations and rung on each New Year's Eve by the oldest and youngest resident to ring in the new year.
I love how Davies' books are easily readable by kids not ready for long chapter books. While I wouldn't want to accuse her of trying to teach anything in her books, each contains several topics that are great for discussion. The Bell Bandit could easily lead to discussions about autism, Alzheimer's disease and aging, and friendship. The more I read of the Lemonade War series, the more excited I am about these books. I am recommending them to students and teachers, knowing they will enjoy them a great deal.