Friday, May 4, 2012

Operation Yes

Operation Yes
Sara Lewis Holmes
Arthur Levine, 2009
$6.99, Paperback
January 3rd, 2012

Genre: Realistic, School Story
Age: 10+
Description: Bo lives with his family in North Carolina on a naval base. When his cousin Gari’s mom, a nurse, is called back into active duty in Afghanistan, she has to move in with Bo’s family. They have a new sixth grade teacher in their dilapidated base school, Miss Loupe, a former student who has been shunned by her family for dropping out of the military and deciding to teach instead. Bo, never good at school, finally begins to enjoy it with Miss Loupe as his teacher especially when she tapes off a section of the classroom floor to be a “stage” and begins teaching the students the art of improvisation. When Miss Loupe’s brother, Marc, goes missing in Afghanistan, Gari, missing and worried about her own mother’s safety, decides to take a stand against the war. With the help of her classmates they follow Miss Loupe’s motto of “Say Yes” and start posing Little Green Men (the LGMs) around the school. When the administration gets wind of the operation, it becomes a community affair—$1 buys you your own LGM that can be posed—their goal to have 100,000 LGM by the end of the year when they perform an improve play for their school.
Opinion: A little slow going in spots, Operation Yes picks up pace about mid-way through. Anyone can sympathize with Bo and Gari and their problems when their lives are constantly in upheaval by their parents’ jobs in the military. Miss Loupe is also a fun and inspired character with her “ugly, ugly green” improv couch and her unorthodox teaching methods. Many readers will wish their teacher was as cool as Miss Loupe. This is also a great book for those dealing with natural fears of having parents in active duty in potentially dangerous foreign countries. It is also good at showing how drama skills can improve other aspects of a person’s life (such as helping Gari become less shy).

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