DATE: October 6, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Virginia Reads One Book: The Lemonade War

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce Virginia Reads One Book 2018This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  Elementary students and families in participating schools and divisions across the Commonwealth can participate in a statewide family reading event in February 2018. 

Every elementary student in participating schools, along with teachers and all school staff, will be given a copy of this year’s chosen title, The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies–a story about two siblings and their dueling lemonade stands. This book can be understood and enjoyed by kindergartners, but will still captivate and stimulate older students.

On February 5, 2018, a mystery reader from the Washington Redskins will kick off with an exclusive video-cast reading of the first chapter of The Lemonade War.  Each evening over the following three weeks, students and families read one chapter a night. Meanwhile, schools celebrate the story with assemblies, daily trivia questions, and activities across all curriculum. Lessons and activities developed by the Virginia Council on Economic EducationThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website will be available to teach basic economics and personal finance concepts aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning.  Family guides with activities that promote family and financial literacy will also be provided.  Virginia Reads One Book will culminate with a community celebration and the selection of students from several schools across the state to visit the Washington Redskins players on Kathryn Starke’s Tackle Reading Day in March.

Virginia Reads One Book is provided by Read to ThemThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website, a Richmond-based nonprofit whose mission is to create a culture of literacy in every home.  Read to Them provides resources that highlight the value of reading aloud along with a host of curriculum, family, and community materials to accompany the selected book. These resources combine to help schools, families, and communities explore and celebrate literature together with the goal that families will make reading together a habit that creates lifelong readers.

Register by December 31, 2017, to participate in Virginia Reads One Book 2018.  The cost per child is reduced for those registering by October 31, 2017.  For more information or to sign up, please visit: or contact Cathy Mitchell, Program Coordinator, Virginia Reads One Book at or (804) 334-5872.