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Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
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Make Lemonade (edition 2000)

by Virginia Euwer Wolff

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935719,321 (3.63)19
Member:ahsreads
Title:Make Lemonade
Authors:Virginia Euwer Wolff
Info:Books On Tape (2000), Audio CD
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:****
Tags:lemonade, poverty, struggle, love, children, care, family, faith, education

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Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
LaVaughn is a young girl just starting high school with the hopes of one day attending college. When she receives a babysitting job for a young teen mom of two kids she starts off just by thinking about how it will help her get to college. Little does LaVaughn know that she will learn more than just the importance of getting herself to school, but she will start to look at the world differently and open up her eyes as well.
  auntiepants88 | Dec 3, 2014 |
4Q, 3P (my VOYA codes)

Make Lemonade is a touching story of two young women coping with poverty in very different ways. This novel provides insight into the lives of real people facing the challenges of living without access to income, good jobs, and child care.

This book would resonate with young adults living in urban poverty in San Francisco (where I live) and other cities. The two young women in the story develop empathy and respect for each other as the story unfolds. Though each character thought she had nothing to learn from the other, the truth in the end is that both have some very important things to learn from the other.

The characters are artfully drawn, and to me, the novel is riveting. Other reviewers felt the plot lacked energy and that the pace was slow. My preference is for good character development over suspense and action in the plot.

The novel is written in free verse. This could shake a young adult out of his or her prejudices about fiction, if there's a young adult around who needs that. But, it was off-putting to some reviewers. For me, the rhythm in the words helps the reader understand how these women are speaking to each other, and imagine what it would sound like in real life. It also reflects the rhythm of life for the characters, repetitive and coordinated for sure, but broken in places, like free verse often is.

I wavered between 4Q and 5Q for quality because it is beautifully written and the characters are brought to life as fully-formed people. At the end of the novel, you feel you know them; they become friends. I decided on a 4Q because the book leaned too far into morality tale territory. For popularity, I chose a 3P, because many young adults may shy away from reading a novel in free verse. ( )
  HollyHerndon | May 12, 2014 |
Link to review: http://taylorsawesomebookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/book-review-make-lemon...

Review's Text:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

LaVaughn is going to college. There has never been a doubt about it since she hit the fifth grade. She needs to earn money, however, and decides to take up a babysitting job. Jolly, the young mother of two, hires on LaVaughn. LaVaughn may have gotten herself in deeper than what she had planned.

This book is written in free verse. Therefore, sections could be examined to help students better understand the purpose and some of the techniques of this style. Teenage pregnancies and teen moms are a fairly hot topic still, so I think a lot of students could relate to it. On top of this, the book also has hidden little hints about the importance of an education (regardless of high school, college, etc.).

I really liked this book. I am always paranoid when it comes to teenage mothers as this is a strong emotional thing for me. However, this did not even become a main focus for me as I read because the story-line was so compelling. Very lifelike and I think very meaningful—a must read!

View all my reviews

What I Want to Add:

This was another book that I read for a college class about YA reading. I was skeptical of this book when I first started it. The form was different from the norm and honestly was feeling pretty tired due to all of the other assignments, etc. However, I found that I could eventually get into it.

Teenage pregnancies in literature (fiction or nonfiction) always worry me. However, this book had a more eye-opening view for many people in my class. The girl was different from me and had a different experience… But I could still relate to her.

I would recommend this book for high school students (and older). I think the free verse aspect would be interesting for during a poetry session or something. It might help students to see something other than “classic” poems…

My rating: 4/5 stars

Sincerely,

Taylor

Have questions, requests, etc.? Then please feel free to e-mail me at taylorreadingblog23@yahoo.com
  taylor.troncin | Aug 6, 2013 |
A quick read with a strong moral lesson. I can't judge if a teen would like the book. The pages are laid out with short lines, like an extended poem. The grammar is that of an uneducated person.
LaVaughn never uses the word "ain't" until halfway thru the book when the author has the word stand in for LaVaughn taking on some of Jolly's characteristics, and then the word continues to be used despite LaVaughn's intention to become college educated & her mother's scolding her for its use. While that word is used to show how LaVaughn's character develops, there is no corresponding display of the influence of the Grammar Build Up class she is taking at school. ( )
  juniperSun | Jun 12, 2013 |
Novel in free verse about teen LaVaughn and her efforts to improve the lives of the children she babysits and their mother. LH ( )
  splinfo | Apr 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For young mothers
First words
"I am telling you this just the way it went
with all the details I remember as they were,
and including the parts I'm not sure about."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
LaVaughn, a girl from the slums with dreams of attending college, takes a regular babysitting job for a single teen parent even more impoverished than herself.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805080708, Paperback)

An award-winning novel about growing up and making choices

Viginia Euwer Wolff's groundbreaking novel, written in free verse, tells the story of fourteen-year-old LaVaughn, who is determined to go to college--she just needs the money to get there. When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:13 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother.

(summary from another edition)

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