Friday, January 30, 2015

Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes

Operation YesBo lives on an Air Force base and has trouble behaving in school. This year in sixth grade, he has a first-year teacher, Ms. Laupe, who behaves rather strangely. She puts tape on the floor to form a rectangle and places an old, stinky couch inside of it. Everyone entering the rectangle must think "Yes and", and then anything is possible. The students learn about all of the normal subjects, but they are able to let their imaginations go wild inside the temporary stage. Bo loves it and really starts to enjoy school. He gets very excited when his teacher announces the possibility of a theater camp next summer until... His cousin Geri comes to stay after her mom is deployed to Afghanistan, and Bo's dad might be heading over there too. Then, something traumatic happens in Ms. Laupe's life, and the class's whole world is turned upside down.

This book was a finalist for a 2009 Cybils book award, and it runs through the whole range of emotions. There's joy, seriousness, sadness, and humor. The plot addresses war and how it affects the lives of people and families. Kids want to be heard, and the students in Room 208 take on a huge project to make a difference. It's interesting to follow Bo's character as he deals with the celebrations, disappoints, and fears in his life. Operation Yes shares a wonderful message of caring, determination, and teamwork to have a positive effect on the world.

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