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Children's Fiction General

Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer

by (author) Leslie Gentile

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2021
General, Native Canadian, General
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Winner of the 2021 City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize
Winner of the 2022 Jean Little First-Novel Award It’s the summer of 1978 and most people think Elvis Presley has been dead for a year. But not eleven-year-old Truly Bateman – because she knows Elvis is alive and well and living in the Eagle Shores Trailer Park. Maybe no one ever thought to look for him at on the Eagle Shores First Nation on Vancouver Island.



It’s a busy summer for Truly. Though her mother is less of a mother than she ought to be, and spends her time drinking and smoking and working her way through new boyfriends, Truly is determined to raise as much money for herself as she can through her lemonade stand … and to prove that her cool new neighbour is the one and only King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. And when she can’t find motherly support in her own home, she finds sanctuary with Andy El, the Salish woman who runs the trailer park.

About the author

Leslie Gentile is a singer/songwriter of Northern Salish, Tuscarora and Scottish heritage. She performs with her children in The Leslie Gentile Band, and with one of her sisters in The Half White Band. Her debut novel, Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer, won the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize and the Jean Little First Novel Award and was short-listed for the Forest of Reading Silver Birch Award, the MYRCA Sundogs Award, the SYRCA Diamond Willow Award, and many more. Gentile currently lives on Vancouver Island with her husband.

Leslie Gentile's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice)
  • Nominated, MYRCA Sundogs Award
  • Short-listed, SYRCA Diamond Willow Award
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Winner, Jean Little First-Novel Award
  • Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • Nominated, Forest of Reading - Silver Birch Award
  • Winner, City of Victoria Children's Book Prize
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

“Leslie Gentile has created a touching and vibrant novel. Her characters are well-crafted and realistically portrayed. … Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer leaves readers with a memorable message about the power of empathy and kindness to change lives. Highly Recommended.” 5/5 Stars

CM Magazine

“This incredible middle grade novel exudes love and heartache. Readers will instantly be drawn to Truly and Andy El and will delight in the beautiful friendship they have cultivated.”

Storytime with Stephanie

“... Gentile has offered up a profound meditation on the meaning of ‘family’ and the ways in which kinship, love and responsibility can extend far beyond the boundaries of biology.”

Canadian Children's Book News

“A refreshingly positive, nurturing portrayal of First Nations culture and people … Gentile creates amazing characters through which she addresses neglect and dysfunctional families, as well as issues of micro aggressions and discrimination against Indigenous peoples … An engaging and layered story of identity and determination … [that] captures what it’s like to live on reserve and what it is to have people who genuinely care about you.”

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People jury citation, Tina Athaide, Christina Minaki, Brandon Mitchell, and Gail de Vos

“With its leisurely pace, this novel feels exactly like a child’s summer … Gentile’s characters are richly realized, and the story takes on challenging material — abuse, identity, racism and more — in ways that respect its audience … The story is approachable and good-natured, wearing its subversive subtext lightly as it presents an unredeemed bad mother, a plot detail that involves questioning the Indian Act and an upending of the white saviour trope … A middle-grade summer story that plays with the genre in ways both satisfyingly familiar and refreshingly new.”

Jean Little First Novel Award jury citation, Maggie de Vries, Sarah Ellis, and Kit Pearson

Other titles by Leslie Gentile

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