Make Lemonade


Virginia Euwer Wolff

Number of Pages: 


Minimum grade level: 


Discussion Questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Why doesn't LaVaughn quit babysitting for Jolly? When does she first think about it? After Jolly loses her job? After Jolly starts school? What is her motivation to stay in these different instances? Do you think you would stay if you were in the same situation?
  2. Why does LaVaughn grow lemons for Jeremy? What do you think lemons represent in this story?
  3. What kind of mother would you say Jolly is? What evidence led you to this conclusion? What did you learn about her by the end of the book?
  4. How do you think the murder of LaVaughn's father affects her character?
  5. Why doesn't Jolly protest her firing? What could she have done? Do you agree or disagree with her decision?
  6. How does LaVaughn change by the end of the story?
  7. What do you think will become of Jolly? Of LaVaughn? Jeremy and Jilly?
  8. What character do you sympathize with the most?
  9. What character can you relate to the most? Why?
  10. The author never specifies what race each character is. Did you make any assumptions while reading? Did those assumptions change by the end of the novel? Discuss what role you think race has in this novel.
  11. What is your opinion of the author's lyrical style? Does it make the novel easier or more difficult to read?

If you liked this book, try

  • The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
  • True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • Witness by Karen Hesse
  • Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen


Lemonade, of course!

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.