Everyone loves Miss Wichelman's fifth-grade class?especially best friends Traci and Marilyn. That's where they learn that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! They are having a great year until Traci begins to notice some changes in Marilyn. She's losing weight, and seems tired all the time. She has leukemia?and a tough road of chemotherapy ...
Everyone loves Miss Wichelman's fifth-grade class?especially best friends Traci and Marilyn. That's where they learn that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! They are having a great year until Traci begins to notice some changes in Marilyn. She's losing weight, and seems tired all the time. She has leukemia?and a tough road of chemotherapy ahead. It is not only Traci and Miss Wichelman who stand up for her, but in a surprising and unexpected turn, the whole fifth-grade class, who figures out a way to say we?re with you. In true Polacco fashion, this book turns lemons into lemonade and celebrates amazing life itself.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-07-30 Miss Wichelman, an energetic fifth-grade teacher, assures her students they can be anything they want to be ("If you dream it... then you can BE it!"). She keeps a basket of lemons in her classroom, repeatedly asking, "And if life hands you a lemon.... Just add water and sugar and what do you have?" Her students know to respond, "Lemonade!" But this philosophy is tested when Marilyn is diagnosed with leukemia; looking at the lemons, her best friend Traci thinks, "No matter how much sugar was added, there wasn't going to be lemonade this time." After enduring grueling chemotherapy that leaves her bald, Marilyn returns to school to find that her classmates have all shaved their heads in support. Miss Wichelman is also bald, but (she eventually reveals to Traci and Marilyn at a meeting of the trio's Lemonade Club) it is because she is being treated for breast cancer. When the teacher confides that her illness has dampened her enthusiasm for applying to medical school, Marilyn bellows, "You aren't going to let something like cancer stomp on your dreams, are you?" In an uplifting finale, the teacher gets married, attended by Traci and Marilyn in lemon-colored dresses, and goes on to become a doctor. As is often the case with Polacco's stories, this lump-in-the-throat, inspiring tale comes straight from real life; Traci is her daughter. The artist's characteristic illustration style works particularly well here to evoke a wide emotional range while maintaining an essentially sunny mood. Ages 6-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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