Patricia Polacco is well known for stories that focus on warmth, friendship, and happy endings. She has written many tales, all of them unique and engaging for kids to read or have their parents read to them. This time Polacco pulls out a few heavy themes, but still manages to bring a smile to readers’ faces in the end.
In this children’s book, a fifth-grade teacher, Miss Wichelman, is always enthusiastic and ready to face life head on. She encourages her students to do the same, always telling them that if they want to be something, then to go for it head on. After all, if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! Marilyn and Traci are both in her class, and know it’s a good philosophy to have. But when Marilyn is diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t seem like any amount of sugar or water will make these lemons into lemonade. However, Marilyn gets support from both her classmates and Miss Wichelman – they’ve all shaved their heads to look just like Marilyn.
Miss Wichelman eventually tells the two girls that she is bald because she’s being treated for breast cancer. The three take comfort in each other’s strength and determination, and it is through this that they find the power to reach for their dreams and succeed in all they do.
The Lemonade Club is a great book for kids struggling with cancer or for those who have friends with cancer. It is story that is inspiring and uplifting
that can boost spirits and encourage children to keep on trying no matter what. It shows the bond of friendship and just what a bit of support from classmates and teachers can do. Polacco draws upon real life experiences and even people as her daughter is named Traci. With her vivid illustrations, the girls and their emotions jump right off the page along with the story.
For kids ages 5 and up, this is a heartwarming account of how when life gives you lemons, there is at least a little bit of lemonade that can be squeezed out of them.