Operation Yes

Operation Yes

4.1 6
by Sara Lewis Holmes
     
 

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Ready? Line UP! FALL IN! And you'll fall for this timely and generous novel set on an Air Force base during the Iraq War, about an amazing teacher and the students she inspires. No one in her sixth-grade class knows quite what to make of Ms. Loupe, with her short hair, her taped square "stage" on the floor, and the interest in improvisational theatre. After all,… See more details below

Overview

Ready? Line UP! FALL IN! And you'll fall for this timely and generous novel set on an Air Force base during the Iraq War, about an amazing teacher and the students she inspires. No one in her sixth-grade class knows quite what to make of Ms. Loupe, with her short hair, her taped square "stage" on the floor, and the interest in improvisational theatre. After all, their school is on an Air Force base--a place that values discipline more than improv. But her students soon come to love her fresh approach; and when her dear brother goes missing in Afghanistan, and Ms. Loupe herself breaks down, they band together to support their teacher. What starts as a class fundraiser expands into a nationwide effort for all injured troops, and an amazing vision of community and hope.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite an occasionally disjointed plot and roving points of view, this story of middle-school classmates who come together to honor their teacher and her war-injured brother entertains. Bo Whaley has a tough time living up to the high standards expected of the son of an Air Force base colonel. In Miss Loupe's sixth-grade class, however, Bo not only avoids trouble, but excels (his teacher's unconventional methods include frequent use of improvisational performance). Then Bo's angry and uncooperative cousin, Gari, moves in when her mom is sent to serve as a nurse in Iraq, and Miss Loupe learns that her brother has been seriously injured in Afghanistan. Soon, Gari, Bo and the rest of Room 208 are hatching a plan to help Miss Loupe, her brother and their dilapidated school on the North Carolina base. Holmes's (Letters from Rapunzel) story, told in third-person, bounces around some in its focus, alighting on different characters' thoughts at various moments. Still, Miss Loupe is the kind of teacher every kid dreams about, and the “all for one, one for all” mentality that comes through as the students band together is inspiring. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Books for young adults tend to be divided into quality categories; a few that are dreadful, many that are okay, some that are really good, and a small number that are capable of knocking your socks off. Operation Yes knocked my socks off. Miss Loupe is a brand new sixth grade teacher at a school on an Air Force base in North Carolina. While she teaches her class the normal subjects (math, language arts, social studies and science), she is also teaching them self confidence, courage, teamwork and compassion through theater lessons. Theater is not part of the approved curriculum, so the theater lessons have to be done after everything else is finished. Students in the class include the base commander's son Bo and his cousin Gari, who is staying with Bo's family while her mom serves in Iraq. Gari has a plan to get the Army to let her mom come home but her plans are interrupted when Miss Loupe's brother who is serving in the Special Forces in Afghanistan is reported missing. Bo and Gari must find a way to get along and the class must find a way to bond together to help their teacher before they lose her. What they decide to do takes imagination and participation from everyone and what they accomplish is very nearly a miracle. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Bo Whaley's sixth-grade teacher, Miss Loupe, starts the school year by taping off part of the floor to create a space for the students to practice improv, and this unconventional beginning will prove more significant than anyone could predict. The story is set on an Air Force base, and Holmes weaves the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into her characters' lives: Bo's cousin Gari is separated from her mother when she is called back into duty; Bo's father is facing possible deployment; and Miss Loupe's brother is seriously injured in combat. Chief among a cluster of story lines is the students' effort to raise money to assist wounded soldiers via the creativity and compassion inspired by their teacher. While that all sounds poignant, Holmes's words are not as powerful as her themes. She jarringly alters her style several times, and there is some contrived description and dialogue. Though it has lofty goals, the novel never gains enough altitude to truly take flight.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
In this lively, often funny novel, an enthusiastic teacher brings improv to restless sixth graders at a rundown school on a North Carolina Air Force base. Her recruits include Bo, son of the base commander, and Bo's troubled cousin Gari, who joins Bo's family under protest when her mom is redeployed to Iraq. Enduring substandard living conditions, frequent moves and abrupt deployments to far-off wars, these military families are mutually supportive, dedicated to service and proud of what they achieve under considerable stress. The kids warm to Miss Loupe, who teaches them to embrace life's possibilities through the arts, but after her brother is reported missing in Afghanistan, she loses her joyful resilience. As Bo and his friends plot a way to help, Gari must choose between joining them and pursuing a plan to bring her Mom home. Pitched to readers in both military and civilian families, this engaging story avoids larger questions of war and peace, focusing instead on how they affect the lives of American kids who deal with the consequences every day. (Fiction. 9-12)
From the Publisher

"[T]he most buoyant example of ensemble work since E. L. Konigsburg’s The View from Saturday (1996) and the best of Gregory Maguire’s Hamlet Chronicles.... Quick, funny, sad, full of heart, and irresistibly absorbing." -- Booklist, starred review

"Miss Loupe is the kind of teacher every kid dreams about, and the 'all for one, one for all' mentality that comes through as the students band together is inspiring." -- Publishers Weekly

"Sixth graders, military brats or not, will identify with this rich cast." -- Horn Book

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545283731
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
256,057
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sara Lewis Holmes is the author of Letters from Rapunzel, winner of the Ursula Nordstrom Fiction Contest. As the wife of an Air Force pilot, she has lived, written, and raised a family in eleven states and three countries, including Germany and Japan. She currently resides in northern Virginia.

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