The Lemonade Crime

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The Lemonade Crime bbook coverWhat the Book is About:

Fourth grade isn’t off to a great start for Evan Treski. His younger sister Jessie skipped a grade and is now in his class, and when he hears that Scott Spencer has a brand-new video game console, he’s certain that Scott bought it with money he stole from Evan. To make matters even worse, it seems like every single child in the class is going over to Scott’s house to play his video games!
Meanwhile, Jessie is trying to find her place as the youngest student in the fourth grade. How much should she speak up in class, and with whom should she hang out on the playground? At least Megan Moriarty, the friend she made over the summer, is still her friend at school!
As Jessie becomes increasingly convinced that Scott stole the money from Evan, she decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of a legal booklet her mother wrote, Jessica writes up an arrest warrant for Scott Spencer and arranges a mock trial on the playground. The other students serve as judge, jury, and attorneys. But when the outcome of the trial doesn’t go the way Evan and Jessie had hoped, can they still find out the truth?
This is the sequel to The Lemonade War but also works well as a standalone book.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Evan’s friends Adam and Paul are Jewish, and he enjoys attending Shabbat dinners at their houses, where they light candles and say blessings.
  • Prior to Yom Kippur, Adam helps his mother clean the house, and he apologizes to Evan for an incident when he and a few other friends left Evan in the woods over the summer. Adam explains that Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, when adults fast and both adults and children apologize for their sins and ask for forgiveness.
  • Toward the end of the book, when Evan is frustrated by how he behaved in response to the outcome of the trial, he decides not to eat on Yom Kippur. Over the course of the day, he reflects on his actions and decides to reconcile with Scott.

Positive Role Models

  • Even though Evan behaved impulsively when he was angry at Scott, he ultimately decides to apologize and reconnect with his friend.
  • Jessie works hard to find a fair and respectful way to solve the mystery of whether Scott stole the money.
  • Meghan is friendly to Jessie even when the other fourth-grade girls give her a hard time. In addition, she volunteers to be Scott’s defense attorney in the mock trial when no other student will.
  • Evan and Jessie’s grandmother is a source of helpful advice, reminding Jessie to keep things in perspective and offering strategies for handling hard situations and reconnecting with her brother.

Content Advisory

Evan and Scott get into an aggressive basketball game after the mock trial is over, and Scott ends up with a few scratches and scrapes.

Talk it Over

When Jessie is convinced that Scott stole her brother’s money, she sets up a pretend courtroom on the playground and decides to let a jury of his peers (fellow fourth-graders) decide what really happened. What would you do if you thought someone stole from you or a family member and was lying about it?

More for You

Although Yom Kippur may seem like a somber, challenging day, it’s actually considered a joyful fast. On this holiest of Jewish holidays, we are forgiven for our errors and sins, and offered the opportunity to begin anew. We are no longer beholden to our previous choices and actions, and we can move into the new year with a fresh perspective, a clear conscience, and another chance to become the best version of ourselves.

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