What do you do when you lose everything that means anything?

Nine-year old Lemonade Liberty Witt doesn’t know the answer to that question, except what her mom taught her. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what if those lemons are so big that you forget how?

How do you make lemonade out of having to leave everything you know in San Francisco to move to the small town of Willow Creek, California and live with a grandfather you’ve never even met? In a town that smells like grass and mud and bugs. With tall pines instead of skyscrapers and dirt instead of sidewalks. Not to mention one woolly beast lurking in the woods.

That’s right, Bigfoot.

A ginormous wooden statue of the ugly thing stands right at the center of town like he’s someone real important, like the mayor or something. And the people here actually believe he’s real and hiding somewhere out in the pine filled forests.

How can anyone possibly be expected to make lemonade out those rotten lemons?

Everything is different and Lem just wants to go back home. And then she meets Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. and sole investigator for the town. He invites her to be his Assistant for the summer and she reluctantly agrees. At least until she can figure out her escape plan.

Together, Lem and Tobin try to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film and end up finding more than they ever could have even imagined.

“I love books about feisty girls and nerdy boys. Melissa Savage’s astoundingly good debut novel is packed with humor, mystery, friendship, family secrets, and even Bigfoot! I think you’ll love it, too.”
—Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist for The Midwife’s Apprentice

“An enjoyable and welcome exploration of sorrow, healing, and friendship.” —School Library Journal

“An enjoyable and comforting middle-grade handbook on navigating new experiences and the heartache of losing loved ones early in life.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Savage injects enough humor, mystery, and lively interaction among the characters to give this two-hanky debut a buoyant tone.” —Booklist

Find a local Independent Bookseller near you and order your copy now! Or try LEMONS on audio, narrated by Tara Sands! Listen to a sample here!


Indies Introduce Winter/Spring 2017 Independent Booksellers’ Debut Picks of the Season. Two panels of booksellers chose the Indies Introduce titles—10 adult and 10 children’s—as the best of the Winter/Spring 2017 debuts.


Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781524700126, May 2, 2017 (Middle Grade)

When Lemonade Liberty Witt is forced to move from San Francisco to Willow Creek, California, she is not sure how to handle all of the Bigfoot excitement, small town weirdness, and meeting her grandfather for the first time. In the spirit of making lemonade, Lem takes a job assisting the inquisitive and friendly Tobin, a local Bigfoot investigator, on his search to catch Bigfoot on film. Through her investigations of the town and Bigfoot, Lem might just find the answer to some very big questions, as well as the location of the nearest Bigfoot. Melissa Savage has managed to distill all of the grief of a major loss, the joy of discovery, and the fear of rebuilding into one magnificent middle-grade novel. Lemons is not to be missed.

Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play (Washington, DC)

I can’t wait to give Lemons to young readers and adults alike! Savage perfectly combines whimsy with gravity, all in a colorful historical setting. This novel will be perfect for fans of One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia and Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones.

-Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)



Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses and Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw will fall in love with this charming adventure story about a girl learning to accept her new life, her quirky detective neighbor, and their epic search for Bigfoot.
Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mama always told her: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But Lem can’t possibly make lemonade out of her new life in Willow Creek, California—the Bigfoot Capital of the World—where she’s forced to live with a grandfather she’s never met after her mother passes away.

Then she meets eleven-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, they set out on an epic adventure to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film. But along the way, Lem and Tobin end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined. And Lem realizes that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all.

“I love books about feisty girls and nerdy boys. Melissa Savage’s astoundingly good debut novel is packed with humor, mystery, friendship, family secrets, and even Bigfoot! I think you’ll love it, too.”
Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist for The Midwife’s Apprentice


Penguin Random House BooksFind a local Independent Bookshop near youBarnes and Noble, Target or ITunes.

Or try LEMONS on audio with Listening Library, narrated by Tara Sands. Try a sample here!


Midwest Indie Bestsellers List CHILDREN (YA and Middle Grade) WOW!




Lu and Bean

Lu and Bean Read! Thank you to the amazing Lu and Bean for inviting me to talk with them about Lemons! LISTEN HERE!






In April 2016 the amazing Barry Cunningham and his team at Chicken House Books purchased Lemons for the UK and Commonwealth of Nations for publication Spring of 2017!  The book will be entitled Bigfoot, Tobin and Me with Chicken House Books.


Graciously gave Lemons a starred review designation as “best of the best” in Intermediate-level books in their Spring Catalog 2018.

2018-2019 HORNED TOAD TALESpage1image3240

LEMONS has been selected as a 2018-2019 Cypress Fairbanks ISD Horned Toad Tale Award List Title!


LEMONS has been selected for the 2019 Children’s Sequoyah Masterlist!

2018-2019 SSYRA LISTSSYRA Award

LEMONS has been selected for the 2018-2019 Sunshine State

Young Readers Award (SSYRA) List, grades 3-5!

8 thoughts on “Lemons

  1. Hi I read your book and I loved it sooooo much can you PLEASE write a sequel to Lemons or in New Zealand, Bigfoot, Tobin and me. It was one of the best books I have ever read.


  2. I am a children’s lead bookseller at Barnes & Noble in Minneapolis, MN. I was drawn to this book by the front cover & after reading the back cover I knew it had to be my next read. I absolutely loved this story about Lemonade Liberty Witt and her pal Tobin Sky. There was so much packed in this book from humor, to a little bit of history, building friendships, feeling & dealing with emotions, and I think most importantly how to deal with loss. So often I have customers ask me for children’s books that will help children with terminally ill loved ones or ones they have already lost. It is a really difficult need to fill & I am so excited to have such an amazing book to recommend not only in those situations but to any young reader. I will be passing this book on to all of my loved ones, too! I was so surprised to read that Melissa Savage also lives in Minneapolis, MN. Melissa, please come to our store in Calhoun Village for a book signing! We’d love to have you!


  3. I love this book! I have just finished reading it to my second group of fourth graders and they couldn’t get enough!! Lemon and Tobin are wonderful characters and my kids really enjoyed “seeing” them change throughout the story. They asked me to find out if there would be a sequel any time soon. Thank you for writing such an amazing story with relatable characters and without the distractions of today’s technology. The setting was perfect!! My students would love to hear from you!


  4. I have been reading Lemons to my fourth graders. They are loving it. We cannot wait to get to the end and see what happens.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s