Lemonade’s mother dies, and she finds herself in Willow Creek, a small Bigfoot-obsessed town, with her grandfather, Charlie. Her new friend, Tobin, owns a Bigfoot detective agency and “hires” Lem to help him sort through and document Bigfoot sightings. Like Lem, Tobin has also lost a parent; his dad went MIA during the war and although brought back alive, has mysteriously disappeared in transit. The two friends struggle together through their losses and grief as they begin to uncover a few surprises. Lem must also reconcile the meaning of home as she decides whether or not to stay with her grandfather or return to her old home via a well-intentioned adoption.
A book that questions the boundaries of family, friendship, and heartbreak, Lemons is a beautiful middle grade read for third to seventh graders. Well-written, Savage does not begin the plot heavy with backstory. Instead, she jumps headfirst into Lem trying to honor her mom’s character by embracing the world around her—with a few hesitations. From lonely old ladies, who bake the best cookies, to single parents and grandparents trying their hardest to raise children, fall in love with these small town characters with one Twinkie-loving, hairy obsession. Savage knows how to build strong characters and make them feel like your best friends. Such a feel-good read with one of my favorite beasts.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. Lemons is set to publish May 2, 2017.
Lemons by Melissa Savage (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017)