Lemons by Melissa Savage
This is a fun and heart-warming book about friendship, family, and healing after loss. Set in the 1970’s, 10-year-old Lemonade Liberty Witt, Lem for short, was told by her mother to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. But after her mother’s death from cancer, Lem not only has to grieve her mother’s loss, but the loss of her friends and home life in San Francisco when she moves to northern California to live with a grandfather she has never met. The book touches on serious subjects (death, grieving, bullying, loneliness, post-traumatic stress disorder) without getting too heavy – it is fun and has a lot of humor in it as well. Her new hometown is the Bigfoot capital of the world and her new neighbor, Tobin, is a Bigfoot detective who spends a lot of time with Lem’s grandfather while his mother is at work. Tobin’s father served in the Vietnam War and is currently missing. Lem and Tobin form a friendship and work together at Tobin’s Bigfoot Detective Agency (in the garage). But Lem wants to make friends with other kids in the neighborhood, while Tobin has been bullied and so wants nothing to do with them. As the summer goes on, Lem investigates Bigfoot sightings, meets new people, gets to know her grandfather, and in the process learns about friendship, family, and how to live with the loss of her mother. The book was beautiful – funny, touching, and filled with life lessons about love and friendship.