Allison Morgan's Reviews > Make Lemonade

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
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Dec 10, 09

bookshelves: english-420

Genre/Category: Required Reading/poetic form/racism/teen pregnancy

To make enough money to go to college, LaVaughn gets an after-school job as a babysitter for a single mother of two. Although LaVaughn falls in love with Jilly and Jeremy, she realizes that the job may be more than she can handle. Jolly, the mother of the two children, is almost the same age as LaVaughn and needs more help than someone to watch her kids everyday. In the end, LaVaughn learns what it really means to care for someone and the importance of being a friend to someone in need.

At first, I thought too hard about the way Wolff wrote her YA novel--in a poetic form. I wondered why lines were shorter than others and what it meant. After I was able to ignore the format, I was able to enjoy the story more. Something I liked was how Wolff never brought up the nationality of her characters, and yet by the end of the novel, readers know more about their race. It really shows how race can change the way you view a story and how, in many ways, it's unnecessary to know unless you make it important to know. It was hard watching LaVaughn do so much for Jolly and her children without ever being thanked or getting credit for her efforts, but I also know it wasn't the point of the novel. In the end, everything LaVaughn did was worth it, and she knew she had succeeded in some small way.
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