Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 05/01/2011 *Starred Review* After skipping third grade, precocious Jessie and her older brother, Evan, start school in the same fourth-grade class. It’s a difficult adjustment for both, but one thing unites them: their certainty and outrage that their classmate Scott stole $208 (lemonade-stand takings) from Evan’s bedroom. Readers of The Lemonade War (2007) will remember the money’s disappearance, but Davies deftly fills in the background here. When Jessie directly accuses Scott of theft and involves the class in a secret, carefully conducted trial after school, tensions rise. In the end, justice is served, but truth is elusive. Evan discovers it only after refriending Scott. Davies’ well-crafted narrative gives the characters’ different points of view credibility while steadily building the tension, and Llewellyn’s drawings of evidence enhance the sense of immediacy. The idea that one is innocent until proven guilty is a judicial concept that resounds through the narrative. Supporting the legal theme, definitions of terms such as circumstantial evidence and perjury appear at the beginning of each chapter. The realistic depiction of the children’s emotions and ways of expressing them will resonate with readers. Great for discussion, this involving and, at times, riveting chapter book has something to say and a deceptively simple way of saying it. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2011 Gr 4–6—Events in The Lemonade War (Houghton Harcourt, 2007) are over, and fourth grade has just started. Jessie and Evan are in the same class, and neither sibling is quite comfortable with this situation. Jessie is the youngest kid in the class, thanks to skipping third grade. She wisely gives her brother plenty of space. When she arrives on the playground each morning, she hangs on the outskirts and observes. But her strong sense of fairness and dislike for Scott Spencer cause her to speak up when he cuts in line one morning. Then he begins bragging about the new video-game system he just got, thanks to his mom's connections. Jessie wonders where he got the money for it. And once she shares her suspicions with Evan, a new war is on. The last one involved which of them could make the most money during the last week before school. This time, it's a legal war. Evan is convinced that Scott stole his lemonade-stand proceeds but he can't prove it. Now that there's circumstantial evidence pointing at Scott, Jessie and Evan join forces to make the case. Each chapter heading defines a tenet of our legal system and frames the action. Short chapters, realistic dialogue and social dynamics, humor, and suspense will keep even reluctant readers turning pages to the satisfying conclusion. The Lemonade Crime is certainly a first purchase for collections that have The Lemonade War. But it can stand alone and would make a lovely read-aloud, especially in tween classrooms, where it's all about justice and fairness.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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