Operation Redwood

Operation Redwood

4.7 14
by S. Terrell French
     
 

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Clandestine e-mail exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree-house standoff are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull in this exciting ecological adventure. 

“Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful

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Overview

Clandestine e-mail exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree-house standoff are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull in this exciting ecological adventure. 

“Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful message sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle's company plans to cut down some of the oldest California redwood trees, and it's up to Julian and a ragtag group of friends to figure out a way to stop them. This thrilling, thoughtful debut novel shows the power of determined individuals, no matter what their age, to stand up to wrongdoing.

John and Patricia Beatty Award
(California Library Association)
National Green Earth Book Award

National Outdoor Book Award honorable mention

Carol D. Reiser Book Award

“Fast paced and full of fun . . . Reminds readers that everyone, no matter how large or small, can take action on issues that are important to them.” —School Library Journal

“One of the finest children's novels of the year . . . A true emotional journey full of adventure, friendship, complex morality, trust, lies, and discovery.” —A Fuse #8 Production


 

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis J. Perry
This is an adventure story involving a small group of children who try to save a stand of California redwoods. The main character is Julian. His father is dead and his mother is in China for four months on a photography trip. In her absence, Julian stays with his aunt and uncle who are rich, have a son of their own, and clearly do not enjoy keeping Julian in their home. In fact they are making plans to ship him off to math camp for the summer. When Julian gets ill one day at school, and has to wait for hours in his uncle's office for a ride home, he checks on two incoming office emails. One reveals how little his aunt and uncle like him. The other, from a girl named Robin, criticizes his uncle's corporation for planning to cut redwoods at Big Tree Grove. As a result, an email correspondence grows between Julian and his best friend, Danny, with Robin, who lives near the grove of Redwoods. Wanting to get away from his aunt and uncle and not looking forward to math camp, Julian and Danny come up with a plan. Julian will pretend to go to math camp but instead will go as an intern to Big Tree Grove, living with Robin's family and trying to help save the redwoods. Julian's aunt uncovers the subterfuge and drags Julian home. Then another scheme is hatched. The book is packed with lively adventure and humor and will keep the reader's attention. The aunt and uncle are drawn rather heavy-handedly, but the other characters, young and old, are interesting and more complex. It carries a strong environmental message. Reviewer: Phyllis J. Perry
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7–When Julian Carter-Li, 12, becomes ill, he is sent by his school to the office of his wealthy, bullying uncle with whom he lives. There he sees email from a Robin Elder degrading the man for being “a moron and world class jerk,” and he quickly becomes fascinated with this spirited person. Through their exchanges, Julian learns that homeschooled Robin lives next to a grove of redwood trees that his uncle’s company plans to harvest, and Julian ditches math camp to see the trees for himself. Drawn to both the forest and Robin’s family, Julian embarks on a campaign to save the trees, and the children take up residence in the Elder family’s tree house. With his friend Danny and Robin, he faces down his uncle to save the forest. Fast paced and full of fun, the story captures the excitement and satisfaction of defeating a large corporation. Situations are sometimes resolved too easily, and character development is spotty, but the story motivates readers to turn the pages regardless. Julian’s relationship with his younger cousin is well done, balancing the tension of a favored kid with genuine affection. Teachers will be able to use this novel for Earth Day discussions and can foster conversations on environmental activism of all types. The resolution reminds readers that everyone, no matter how large or small, can take action on issues that are important to them.–Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
This satisfying eco-adventure stars sixth grader Julian Carter-Li, who has been left with a rich uncle in San Francisco while his mother researches in China. A leisurely buildup introduces the characters, outlines the issue of cutting old-growth redwoods and recounts the serendipitous series of events that leads Julian to discover and run away from his uncle's plan to send him to summer math camp. Hiding out at Huckleberry Ranch, he and new friend Robin explore the neighboring forest his uncle has a permit to clear-cut. The suspense ramps up as Julian is discovered and returned to the city. Helped by best friend Danny Lopez, he and Robin hatch a series of plans to save the grove. Though traditional in concept-a band of young people, a summer adventure and the timely appearance of a previously unknown relative-the absorbing third-person narrative is modernized with the inclusion of e-mails. Adults play stock roles; the focus is on the young-a group that becomes gratifyingly diverse in age as well as experience and ethnic background. A highly enjoyable read. (Fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810983540
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2009
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
684,893
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

S. Terrell French once spent two months as a Forest Service volunteer in Alaska. Now she is an environmental lawyer who lives with her family in San Francisco. Operation Redwood is her first novel, and has won several awards. Find out more at www.operationredwood.com.

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