Title: Lemonade Code
Author: Jarod Pratt, Jey Odin
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: January 19, 2021
This is a fully illustrated graphic novel about a middle school super genius who starts a lemonade stand to fund his ultimate top-secret project, only to find unexpected competition right across the street when the new kid starts a rival stand.
Robbie Reynolds isn’t just a genius. He’s a super SUPER genius! But he doesn’t have the cash to fund his ultimate (and top secret) project. That’s why he’s opening a lemonade stand. Not just any lemonade stand: this one is state of the art, and his automatista can make you any flavor of lemonade your heart desires! Bacon, salsa, potato salad, dirty diaper—anything you want.
Unfortunately, Robbie isn’t the only one in the Lemonade Hustle. Daphne Du-Ri, his new across-the-street neighbor, has her own setup going, and something about her lemonade is resonating with people in ways Robbie’s can’t. Before the week is over, Robbie and Daphne are in a full-on Lemonade War.
Robbie is a genius and a mad scientist. He created a robot that could make lemonade with any flavor imaginable. As soon as he opens his lemonade stand, another stand opens across the street by a new girl, Daphne. Once one of his customers tries her lemonade, everyone leaves Robbie’s stand to support Daphne. However, after Robbie’s mother tries Daphne’s lemonade, he realizes there is something in her drink that makes people become obsessed with it. Robbie has to use his coding and mad scientist skills to figure out what is happening with Daphne’s lemonade.
This story started out really strong. It’s set in the future, where people use hoverboards and robots. It was still relatable since the kids created a lemonade stand, which is such a common activity for children. The story got complicated when Robbie had to use code to figure out the secret behind the lemonade. I don’t know much about coding, but I’m sure kids who are interested in it will like this story.
This graphic novel was a little text heavy. I liked that there was a lot of text and description because sometimes graphic novels don’t have enough words. However, this may have worked better as a novel. I found some of the technical coding parts confusing and wordy. If there was simpler language or if it was explained more, I would have gotten more out of this story.
This is a great graphic novel for middle grade readers who are interested in coding.
Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Last Pick by Jason Walz
Have you read Lemonade Code? What did you think of it?