Make Lemonade
Henry Holt, 1993
ISBN 978-0805022285 (hc)

Jolly is seventeen. She can't really spell. She doesn't have much of a job. And she has two little kids from two different, absent fathers.

Jolly knows she can't cope with Jilly and Jeremy all by herself. So she posts a notice on the school bulletin board: BABYSITTER NEEDED BAD. No one replies but Verna LaVaughn, who's only fourteen. How much help can she be?

For a while, Jolly, Jilly, Jeremy, and LaVaughn are an extraordinary family. Then LaVaughn takes the first steps toward building her own future, and Jolly begins the long, slow process of turning the lemons of her life into lemonade.

Discussion guide, Multnomah County Library


"Written in a riveting stream-of-consciousness fashion ... the book plunges into the depths of inner-city poverty.... At once disturbing and uplifting, this finely nuanced, touching portrait proudly affirms our ability to reach beyond ourselves and out to one another." —Booklist, starred review

“Radiant with hope, this keenly observed and poignant novel is a stellar addition to YA literature.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Awards, honors, more reviews

Make Lemonade
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