The Bell Bandit by Jacqueline Davies

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   We give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

   We really liked this entire series of Lemonade War books.  This was Jessica's favorite of the three. (Any books with a character named Jessie are usually good.)  She really enjoyed that you have to use other skills like math to figure out what is going on.  The parents missed the vocabulary word at the beginning of each chapter...and the integrated lessons.  Book one had marketing and economics, book two introduced the justice system, this book had no other academic lessons. The kids didn't notice.

   We wish that they would have somehow also used lemonade in the title somewhere.  We're not sure how, but we all agree that it would unite the books and make more people apt to pick up this third book.

   There is a lot going on in this story despite the lack of integrated lessons.  The grandmother has Alzheimer's and the neighbor boy, Maxwell has Asperger's syndrome.  There are simultaneous mysteries and twists and turns.

   One thing that really was bothersome was towards the end when Jessie makes a reference to a mental hospital when describing a conversation with Maxwell.  We aren't sure that this is appropriate...but again, the kids weren't bothered by it.

   - The Albright Family