Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Jessie and her older brother Evan have an unusual friendship which is jeopardized when book-smart (but not street-smart) Jessie finds out she will be skipping a grade and landing squarely in Evan’s fourth-grade class. Her ignorance about his feelings is touching and somewhat reminiscent of Emma-Jean Lazarus; his feelings of frustration and fear at being shown up by his little sister at school are well-articulated and the reader can easily empathize with both of them.
Their feelings and misunderstandings lead to an all-out lemonade stand competition to kill the end-of-summer boredom blues – first one to make it to $100 wins the other’s earnings and can alter their relationship for the next school year. Where once they had been perfect partners (he schmoozed the customers while she calculated change at lightning speed), the war pitted them against each other and forced them to find new partners. Fortunately, they each inherited their mom’s business sense and the chapters are sprinkled with business terms and Jessie and Evan’s examples in subtle lessons for the young entrepreneur.
I loved the siblings’ relationship and the fact that their mom lets them work out their problem. The ending is a bit suspenseful (comes down to pennies!) and has some sweet surprises.