BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, May 5, 2017

Jax & Lil Miss Review Lemons by Melissa Savage

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date:5/2/2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes &; Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mama always told her: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But Lem can’t possibly make lemonade out of her new life in Willow Creek, California—the Bigfoot Capital of the World—where she’s forced to live with a grandfather she’s never met after her mother passes away.

Then she meets eleven-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, they set out on an epic adventure to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film. But along the way, Lem and Tobin end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined. And Lem realizes that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all.

Jax's Thoughts:
This story aptly reflects the small town summer experience - it has a slow and measured pace. It can feel grating for someone used to things moving quickly, but it also grows on you.

I'll admit, I expected a book that focused a bit more on the Bigfoot search than on the healing of two children struggling with some serious losses. Savage is child and family therapist, and it shows. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Children who lose someone need a realistic and healthy example of what paths grief can lead us to. This has some good examples of that. However, there is more to this tale than just Lem's loss.

The book is set in the 70s, and also deals with having a parent dealing with a mental/emotional break down after being in a war. It addresses bullying. It addresses being the new kid in town. Being the outcast who's never lived anywhere else. Lem and her grandfather meet for the first time, because of an estrangement between Lem's mother and grandfather. There are moments when I wished the author had picked just one issue. All the topics involved are important, and it's not uncommon that they occur simultaneously. It just felt, to me, as if the book was overcrowded with well intentioned lessons. Even still, it's a decent book to read. Excellent for starting conversations with your tween.

My tween, the 12 year old bibliophile Lil Miss, did not finish the book. 'Tis as much because the school year is winding down and there are projects with priority as it is the slow pacing. She is looking forward to seeing what becomes of Lem & Company, but she did mention that she's halfway through and it's not a "can't put it down" kind of book. She described what she's read so far as "sweet, but sad. Sometimes a little silly." Tobin reminds her a bit of Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time.
She relates to being new in town, since we've moved recently.

All in all, Lemons is a solid book. It's a good addition for a library, or for a child struggling with grief.

About the author

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

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