“It's not about being happy,” said Jessie. “It’s about being fair.”

Age Range: 7 - 10 years
Grade Level: 2 - 5
Series: The Lemonade War Series (Book 2)
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0547279671
ISBN-13: 978-0547279671

On the fourth day of fourth grade, Scott Spencer walks into school and announces that he just bought the newest Xbox system. Jessie and Evan wonder where he got the money for that. Convinced that Scott stole the $208 that went missing from Evan's pocket at the end of the summer, Jessie decides to take Scott to court to prove his guilt. But things don't work out the way Jessie planned, and so it's up to Evan to find his own path to justice.

This long-awaited sequel to the best-selling The Lemonade War introduces young readers to our legal system as it offers a gripping courtroom drama that will keep them on the edge of their seats. In a story that questions the very meaning of truth, justice, and mercy, there are no easy answers. Instead, The Lemonade Crime will spark plenty of discussion as readers examine their own thoughts on innocence and guilt. 

As she explores the difficulties of fairness, Jacqueline Davies once again reveals how good she is at understanding the complex emotions of children this age.


"The realistic depiction of the children’s emotions and ways of expressing them will resonate with readers. Great for discussion, this involving and, at times, riveting chapter book has something to say and a deceptively simple way of saying it."—Booklist, starred review

"The Lemonade Crime is certainly a first purchase for collections that have The Lemonade War. But it can stand alone and would make a lovely read-aloud, especially in tween classrooms, where it’s all about justice and fairness."—School Library Journal

Awards and Lists

  • Booklist—starred review
  • Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award, Nominee
  • Virginia Reader's Choice Award, Nominee
  • Booklist's Top 10 Crime Fiction Titles for Youth