The Lemonade Club

( 6 )

Overview

Everyone loves Miss Wichelman's fifth-grade class-especially best friends Traci and Marilyn. That's where they learn that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! They are having a great year until Traci begins to notice some changes in Marilyn. She's losing weight, and seems tired all the time. She has leukemia-and a tough road of chemotherapy ahead. It is not only Traci and Miss Wichelman who stand up for her, but in a surprising and unexpected turn, the whole fifth-grade ...

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Overview

Everyone loves Miss Wichelman's fifth-grade class-especially best friends Traci and Marilyn. That's where they learn that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! They are having a great year until Traci begins to notice some changes in Marilyn. She's losing weight, and seems tired all the time. She has leukemia-and a tough road of chemotherapy ahead. It is not only Traci and Miss Wichelman who stand up for her, but in a surprising and unexpected turn, the whole fifth-grade class, who figures out a way to say we're with you.

In true Polacco fashion, this book turns lemons into lemonade and celebrates amazing life itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Miss Wichelman, an energetic fifth-grade teacher, assures her students they can be anything they want to be ("If you dream it... then you can BE it!"). She keeps a basket of lemons in her classroom, repeatedly asking, "And if life hands you a lemon.... Just add water and sugar and what do you have?" Her students know to respond, "Lemonade!" But this philosophy is tested when Marilyn is diagnosed with leukemia; looking at the lemons, her best friend Traci thinks, "No matter how much sugar was added, there wasn't going to be lemonade this time." After enduring grueling chemotherapy that leaves her bald, Marilyn returns to school to find that her classmates have all shaved their heads in support. Miss Wichelman is also bald, but (she eventually reveals to Traci and Marilyn at a meeting of the trio's Lemonade Club) it is because she is being treated for breast cancer. When the teacher confides that her illness has dampened her enthusiasm for applying to medical school, Marilyn bellows, "You aren't going to let something like cancer stomp on your dreams, are you?" In an uplifting finale, the teacher gets married, attended by Traci and Marilyn in lemon-colored dresses, and goes on to become a doctor. As is often the case with Polacco's stories, this lump-in-the-throat, inspiring tale comes straight from real life; Traci is her daughter. The artist's characteristic illustration style works particularly well here to evoke a wide emotional range while maintaining an essentially sunny mood. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
Best friends Traci and Marilyn love their fifth-grade teacher, Miss Wichelman. All of the students in her class do. She encourages them to follow their dreams and reminds them, with a basket of lemons, that if life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. When Marilyn is diagnosed with leukemia, Traci and Miss Wichelman try to help her through the difficult chemotherapy. On Marilyn's return to school, all the children have shaved their heads to make her feel better about losing her hair. When Miss Wichelman reveals that she too is fighting cancer, Traci and Marilyn support her through her wedding and her goal of becoming a physician. The double-page scenes include some contexts, but the characters dominate. Polacco uses her pencils and markers to activate emotions, from the pointing arms of teasing girls to the exuberant greetings of welcoming classmates and the happy racing chase of the two friends across the endpapers. The lengthy story, based on the real experiences of Polacco's daughter, is both informative and reassuring to young readers who may have some experience with cancer. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Very best friends Traci and Marilyn are in Miss Wichelman's warm, friendly and inspiring fifth-grade classroom led by an encouraging teacher whose daily motto is to make lemonade out of life's sour lemons. Marilyn is given one of life's worst lemons, leukemia, and enters a course of chemotherapy complete with its sickening side effects and the loss of her hair. Through it all, Traci and her family remain supportive as only best friends can. But it is Miss Wichelman's personal connection with cancer, her special friendship with both girls in and outside of school and her secret dreams of finishing medical school that lead the way to a classroom full of shaved heads and happy reunions when Marilyn returns from a long absence. Once again, Polacco works from a true episode, this time in her daughter's friend's life, to build a heartwarming and touchingly gentle story of serious childhood illness and its hopeful, positive outcome through compassionate peer loyalty. Her signature expressive illustrations of children and adults' sadness, relief and gladness rendered in pencils and markers complete this sentimental yet poignant story that will surely trigger a few tears for some and empathetic understanding for all. (Picture book. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245404
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/20/2007
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 116,400
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Great book as is all Patricia Polacco books. Discusses cancer with a happy ending Polacco's books usually has a family tie. I have 35 of her books that I use to teach with.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    you have to read this book!!

    love it

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Heartwarming Tearjerker

    I recently picked up this picture book and fell in love with it. Best friends Traci and Marilyn love being in Miss Wichelman's fifth grade class. Miss Wichelman always encourages her students to turn lemons into lemonade. But when Marilyn states losing weight and feeling tired all the time, things change. Marilyn has leukemia. Traci and the whole fifth grade class rally around their friend, even shaving their heads to show support. When the girls discover that Miss Wichelman is also fighting cancer, they start the Lemonade Club to encourage one another.
    Based on a true story of Polacco's daughter Trace, her best friend, Marilyn, and their teacher Cynthia Wichelman, this story is heartwarming and encouraging.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    The Lemonade Club: A review from a future teacher!

    Miss Wichelman is a young teacher who daily preaches to her children, that is life hands you lemons, you must make lemonade. Her close knit class is put to the limits when one of the Students Marilyn is diagnosed with leukemia. The class shows their support for Marilyn by having everyone shave their heads. Miss Wichelman is incredibly supportive, mainly because she too secretly has cancer. Marilyn, Miss Wichelman, and the rest of the class take a journey through the process and survival of cancer. The topic of cancer is delicatley portrayed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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