Lola Zola Lives in a Candy Store!

Okay, not really. Lola Zola still resides in the magical town of Mirage in the California desert. Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush, however, can now be found amid the jaw-breakers, gum drops, and special chocolates at Pulp & Hide and The Candy Alley in the Pacific Palisades. Take a look.

Candy AlleyStore proprietor (along with her sister Ann) Joan Fernbacher

Pulp & Hide and The Candy Alley is @ 865 Via De La Paz, Pacific Palisades, CA

Posted in candy, children's books, middle grade fiction, Pacific Palisades, Sweets, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Love Thank You Notes!

We received some fabulous hand-made thank you cards from students at Santa Monica Alternative School. Take a look!20130127_232128Thank You Card Smash Core 2

Thank You Card Smash Core 3

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Genie Hwang and studentsGenie Hwang, 6th grade teacher at Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) and Core 3 students.

Thank you SMASH school teachers and librarian Diane Greenseid in Santa Monica for inviting Lola Zola into your classrooms. We enjoyed the Readers Theater and the Q & A with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders curious about our writing process. (Marcy wrote the first draft of Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush; Jackie revised it.) During the mock election for 6th grade Class President, boys playing Buck sauntered down the aisle, passing out glossy campaign literature; girls pretending to be Lola gave heartfelt speeches about eco-quality and justice for all sixth graders. Like a chorus, the students shouted, “LO LA LO LA LO LA!” until teacher Genie Hwang (pictured above) announced they’d have to read the book to find out who wins the class election.

SMASH StudentA Readers Theater actor and literary-minded SMASH student in the SMASH Library





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lola Zola at the Kate Kate Tween Fair

Lola Zola at the Kate Kate Tween Fair

Young entrepreneurs Nika and Elena Palombo of Pure and Natural California Beauty schmoozing with Lola Zola while promoting jasmine scents at the Kate Kate Tween Fair in Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica yesterday. Marcy and Jackie autographed their copy of Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush – “Lola would enjoy being friends with you.”

Posted in author event, middle grade fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Tween Us” from Chicago!


tween us

A big thank you goes to Shannan Younger who writes about everything tween. Here’s what Shannan posted on her amazing Tween Us blog about Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush.

Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush Makes a Sweet Holiday Gift

by Shannan Younger

Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush is a  novel by Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz aimed at middle grade students.  My tween very much enjoyed the novel that features sixth grade heroine Lola Zola who sets up a lemonade stand to make money when both her parents are laid off from their jobs. Although the subject matter is serious and true life, the book is not heavy or sad. The novel is very funny, and my tween and I both recommend it. It would make a great holiday gift.

Lola relies on some pretty fantastical claims to sell her lemonade. Charles Wembly III (a.k.a. Buck or Slime Bucket), Lola’s rival for class president, opens a competing “limo stand” out of the back of his father’s Cadillac. He challenges Lola and her friend Melanie on their claims about the power of their lemonade. Eventually, many thirsty people flock to the kids’ desert town of Mirage.

The book addresses circumstances of a tough economy but with pluck and humor that keep it fun, and flat out funny. I admit to worrying that my daughter would find it sad, or get worried about our employment situation.  Apparently I forgot that she’s a tween.  She was fine with it and said, “It’s part of the story, Mom. You deal. It happens.” And while that isn’t the sole message of the book, it is a very valuable one. My daughter mentioned that the last book she read that featured a parent losing a job was Ramona Quimby in Ramona and her Father, and that although Lola is older and more sophisticated than Ramona, both girls were scared but found a way to help the family. I agree that, like the Ramona books, Lola Zola has a neat combination of addressing current themes with a timeless approach that will not be dated. Lola is a character that certainly stands on her own, with pluck and humor, and will do so for years to come.

My tween was a big fan of the dialogue in the book, something she’s never singled out as a highlight in other books she has read.  She told me, “The characters all talk like kids really, actually talk.  It seemed like the characters were more real than in other books because they say things that my friends say.” She also liked the symbolic communication system that Lola developed with her best friends, Melanie, and said that it was something she’d want to do with her best friend. My tween and I both agree that the book would be good for either boys or girls.

You can buy Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush on Amazon here.

The book would make a great holiday gift.  While it alone is fun, tweens are always happy to get receive a gift that goes with the book, and this book presents a lot of matching gift options. My tween  recommended a parrot phone or a hamster, which are important to the plot, but she also approved of easier to find options.

Those options include the literal approach and giving a variety of lemonade-themed accompaniments, arming the tween recipient with the items necessary for an actual lemonade, like a plastic pitcher or juicer.  You could also assemble a reading care package that includes some sparkling lemonade, lemon cookies and a sunny fleece blanket. Alternatively, some fun yellow accessories would go nicely. For girls, this fun beret for $12.50 at Claire’s, or this ruffle shirt from Lands End would be great.  Boys might like a long sleeve v-neck from Gap Kids.

Find out more information about Lola Zola, the authors and starting a lemonade stand at her website here.

* Fine print: I received a copy of the book to review.  All opinions are my own, or my tween’s. (and we all know you can’t control a tween’s opinions!) We were not compensated in any way.  All the gift suggestions are my own, too, no compensation for those, either, although I did learn that checking out yellow items is a fun way to brighten a dreary day.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Morning of Literary Fun with Lola Zola in the John Muir School Library

Principal Tristan Komlos, 4th grade teacher Kim Griffin, author Marcy Winograd

Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush authors Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz want to thank the wonderful 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students who participated in the Lola Zola Readers Theater at John Muir Elementary School in Santa Monica Monday morning.

Students cheered “LO-LA LO-LA LO-LA” during Lola Zola’s speech for Sixth Grade Class President, showing full appreciation for Lola’s promise to extend recess five minutes for rehydration.

A few boos, however, could be heard coming from the friends of Lola’s campaign rival —  Buck or Slime Bucket. When the Buckster (played by various talented students) sauntered over to the imaginary podium to deliver his speech, he flashed an impish grin at the crowd before promising to cut down on his farting during music lessons.

Co-authors Marcy and Jackie appreciated the excellent questions raised by fifth graders wanting to know more about the writing process.  Oh, and the lemon juggling was fantastic, with one student juggling two lemons at once.

Before the morning was over, students sipped lemonade, ate delicious chocolate chip cookies (thank you Melissa Tarsky, Sarah and Elizabeth’s mom) and wrote in Lola’s diary:

“Lola, you seem like a very great personality and a great reader.”

It’s true, Lola Zola is a great reader. In fact, she’ll even be able to read this entry after we translate it into Pig Latin!

Sarah, 3rd Grade


Authors Jackie Hirtz and Marcy Winograd with 3rd grade teacher Joe Ramirez

Thank you also, 3rd grade teacher Joe Ramirez, librarian Diane Greenseid, the 4th and 5th grade teachers including Kim Griffin, and principal Tristan Komlos.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lola Zola Comes to John Muir Elementary School in Santa Monica

Thanksgiving week, just before students break for the long weekend holiday, Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz will visit the Title I public school where literacy is prized, readers abound, and budding writers are finding their voice. The authors will bring copies of their new middle grade book, Lola Zola and Lemonade Crush and 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will read passages aloud, discuss the story, the characters and the situations they face, and offer predictions on how the novel will turn out.

Students, get ready to catch lemonade fever, guess the secret ingredient, find out Lola’s plan to help her family, and dramatize the lemony story about a sixth grade girl who turns lemons (double lay-offs) into lemonade.  Meet Lola, her BFF Melanie, Lola’s class rival Buck, and Lola’s tail-less tuxedo kitty who says, in Mew language, “This secret lemonade recipe is purr-fect.”


Send an email to to invite the authors to your school.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And the Secret Ingredient is… Lola’s Lemonade Recipe

Lemonade Recipe


7 lemons

2 quarts of water


1 ½ cups of sugar


Slice one lemon and set aside

Juice the remaining 6 lemons

Add lemon juice, water, and sugar together in a large pitcher and mix well.

Add some ice and the lemon slices and stir. Refrigerate until cold.

Pour lemonade in glasses with ice and enjoy!


 Lola has a secret ingredient.  Do you know what it is?

Just like Lola, you can add your own secret ingredient. Here are some ideas:

*A few teaspoons of beet juice or some grape juice to turn it into pink lemonade

*A cup (more or less) of orange juice for a citrus-twist

*Some fresh mint leaves for those of you who like a little mint

*Some seltzer water or club soda to turn it into sparkling lemonade (use half bubbly water and half plain water)

*Add some cranberry juice for lemonade zing

Do you have any other ideas? Please let us know and we’ll add them to this list.

I know Lola Zola’s secret ingredient! It’s _________________________!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lola Zola’s Readers Theater Rocked at the Library

Yesterday in Los Angeles, we experienced a change in the weather — from warm and sunny earlier in the week to suddenly chilly with rain. Would any tweens show up after school for the Lola Zola Readers Theater at the Ocean Park Library in Santa Monica?


Sixteen tweens enjoyed listening to authors Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz read from Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush. Everyone laughed, nibbled on cookies, discussed some of Lola’s issues (such as how she felt when her parents lost their jobs on the same day) and of course, drank delicious lemonade. All the guests were wonderful, including some parents who came with their kids, and contributed to a fun Lola Zola afternoon. Each tween went home with a copy of Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush and a recipe for… lemonade!

Our thanks go to Wendy Chen, the amazing children’s librarian at the Ocean Park Library who made this event happen! And many thanks to Mr. Ramirez, teacher at John Muir Elementary School, Maxine Meltzer, Melissa Tarsky, and everyone who helped get the word out about Lola Zola Readers Theater.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lola Zola and Friends are Coming to the Ocean Park Library Nov. 8

Please join us for a special event on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 4 PM at the Santa Monica Public Library, Ocean Park Branch, 2601 Main Street, Santa Monica

Young teens, tweens, families and book lovers are invited to hear us (Marcy and Jackie) read  from LOLA ZOLA and the LEMONADE CRUSH, our middle grade novel for tweens.

Budding actors are invited to practice their drama skills in a lively Readers Theater presentation .

Lola Zola is an indomitable sixth-grader who tries to support her laid-off parents by selling lemonade rumored to be a fountain-of-youth elixir.

What happens when Lola’s class rival opens a competing “limo-stand”? Trouble!  The battle for squirt and slurp champion is on – but just when Lola is about to declare victory, she must decide what it means to “win.”

Wrote one reviewer, “Lola’s tongue is as sweet and tart as the lemonade she peddles.”

Posted in author event, children's books, kids and money, library, library event, middle grade fiction, readers theatre, young adult fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment