Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Operation Yes

Operation Yes
by Sara Lewis Holmes
New York: Scholastic, 2009. 234pgs. Juvenile Fiction.

Bo Whaley, son of an Air Force colonel, is often in trouble at the base school, but he knows sixth grade will be different when his new teacher, Ms. Loupe, begins class by outlining a stage in masking tape on the classroom floor. Anyone inside the box must arrange himself or something else to "create beauty"; aka, art. Before he knows it, Bo is tapping into unknown depths of imagination and theatrical talent, stung by the knowledge that his father will be transferred away from North Carolina before the Dirty Couch Players will take the boards. But greater things are afoot: Bo's cousin arrives from Seattle to stay while her mother is deployed to Afghanistan; the School Commission is inspecting the school hoping to get away without doing anything about the cracked walls and the little kids' stinky bathroom; worst of all, Ms. Loupe's brother goes missing in Afghanistan. Teasing and food fights evaporates as the kids pull together to help Ms. Loupe. "Operation Yes" is filled with riches: caring, loving parents, a multileveled portrait of what it is like to live in a military family, sympathetic and well-developed characters, sorrows, laughter, growing up, and thousands of LGMs (you'll see). Contemporary realistic juvenile fiction of the highest order.

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