Monday, November 26, 2012

Candy Smash

The fourth installment of Jacqueline Davies' The Lemonade War was a happy surprise in my Amazon Vine newsletter.  The Lemonade War is an Iowa Children's Choice book from a few years ago now.  When I read it I could see why it had been chosen. It is an easy read with some great teaching moments tied in.  I didn't love it, but every time a teacher read it aloud to her class, the kids really liked it.  My own daughter really liked it.  Then the second and third books in the series were published (The Lemonade Crime and The Bell Bandit) and I started to like this series more with each installment. 
Candy Smash is a great next chapter in this series.  Evan and Jessie are still in the same classroom at school which  makes for some interesting dynamics.  As Jessie struggles (at least in my mind) with social skills, I began to feel as though Evan was a pretty awesome older brother who put up - and even tried to understand- his little sister. While most kids might not pick up on it, Jessie's acceleration to a higher grade certainly didn't help her out socially. Kids in her class are starting to have crushes on other kids and Jessie tries to disclose this private information in her class newspaper she writes, not understanding that this might be a bad idea.
Evan and Jessie's class is also working on a poetry unit, which Davies does a marvelous job of writing about.  Teachers could use this book as a springboard for their own poetry unit, and I felt my own hesitance around this genre to turn to intrigue as I watched Evan excel at this type of writing.
Just as in previous Lemonade War books, a new vocabulary word that fits in with the story line is shared at each chapter's beginning, providing another teachable moment.
Davies' series just keeps getting better, and I can't help but hope Evan and Jessie show up again in future books.

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