Operation Yes

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Bo is going to behave...
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Operation Yes

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Bo is going to behave for his new teacher.
His father, an Air Force colonel, says so.

Gari is going to live peacefully with her cousin.
Her mother, an Army nurse, says so.

Miss Loupe is going to teach her class language arts, social studies, math, and science.
What’s supposed to stay secret: the theater lessons – and her tattoo.

Bo stages a food fight.
His father isn’t pleased.

Gari stages a protest.
The Army isn’t pleased.

And when something happens that none of them could plan for...
they lose Miss Loupe too.
And what comes out of that is ...

It involves misbehaving – and working together. Protests, fighting – and making something amazing.
For everyone’s parents. Everyone’s families.
It’s a plan so big, so daring, so life-changing, that it can only be called:


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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

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 5–7—Jessica Almasy's performance of Sara Lewis Holmes's contemporary tale (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009) about sixth grade students living on a North Caroline Air Force base further enhances an excellent novel. Their beloved teacher, Miss Loupe, with her spiky hair and tattoo, loves improvisational theater and has taped a square "stage" on the classroom floor. Miss Loupe also shares with her class her love of art and her love for her brother, Mark, who is serving in Afghanistan. Bo and Gari, cousins brought together in school through the circumstances of war, work together with their classmates to support Miss Loupe when her brother goes missing in action. The students unite and start a fundraiser that becomes an effort to help all the injured troops. Almasy's varying inflections and use of distinct voices for the characters immediately draw listeners in, and she does an excellent job of portraying the wide range of emotions experienced by Holmes's well-developed, believable characters. A wonderfully crafted story.—Cathie Bashaw Morton, Millbrook Central School District, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611060805
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/20/2011
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 1 MP3-CD, 6 hrs. 23 min.
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Good Book For Young Readers!

    Operation Yes is a good book by Sara Lewis Holmes. It is about a family living on a military base on the east coast. The main character,Bo, is a jokester starting a new school year. Gari is Bo's cousin who lives with Bo because her mom was called for duty. They both have the rookie and unusual teacher, Miss Loupe. Gari has a hard time fitting in and Miss Loupe disappears to visit her injured brother. Bo, Gari, and some of their friends team together to try to bring Miss Loupe back. What I liked most about this book is how positive it is. I would recommend this book to younger readers for it is not too challenging. However it is a good book and a definite page turner.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book is a fantastic look into the military lifestyle for ch

    This book is a fantastic look into the military lifestyle for children. I love the improv aspect and the little struggles that each character deals with.
    This genre needs many more books like this one, and I would love to see another book about life after the deployment for Gari and what life is
    like for Bo in his new surroundings. This is such a great story with so many things and emotions going on at once. My son and I both loved this
    book from the very first page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It was okay

    This book was kind of confusing. The first couple chapters were good, but I think it got too confusing as the book went on. It could have been really good, but it wasn't.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    OPERATION YES by Sara Lewis Holmes is one of a number of new books just out that focus on issues relating to war in the Middle East. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are touching more and more lives here in the U.S., and many authors have taken on the challenge of including these current events in their new novels.

    OPERATION YES takes place here in the States on an Air Force base. Bo's father is one of the commanding officers at the base, and Bo attends the base school. Not a model student, Bo is not looking forward to the new school year, but he has promised his father he will at least try to behave.

    Miss Loupe is a new teacher at the school. One of the first things she shares with her students is the fact that she and her brother, Marc, once lived on the base and attended the school where she now teaches. Bo becomes fascinated with Miss Loupe's teaching strategies as he watches her actions on his very first day in her class.

    All the students are surprised and puzzled as they watch her tape off a large rectangle on the floor of their classroom, and then drag in an ugly, old couch. The taped off area and the ugly couch soon become the center of their afternoon activities. Miss Loupe is a master of improv theater, and she is determined to get each of her students involved.

    Something else new in Bo's life is the arrival of his cousin, Gari. Gari's mother, a nurse, has been deployed to Iraq, and Gari has come to live with Bo and his family on the base. She isn't happy about leaving her Seattle home and friends to trek across the country to the east coast, and it doesn't help that she is worried sick about her mother's safety in Iraq. Gari quickly begins hatching a plan that might either get her sent back to Seattle or bring her mother home.

    Bo is also dealing with deployment issues. Just when he is starting to like school and his new teacher, it's possible that his father may be sent to Afghanistan at the end of the year, which would mean another in a long history of moves for the family. Bo doesn't want to hold back his father's career, but he would do just about anything to remain with Miss Loupe and participate in her theatrical experiments.

    OPERATION YES takes readers into one teacher's unique classroom to witness students becoming excited about learning. Those same students face the emotional challenges of having direct connections with war and some of the toughest times for U.S. military personnel. This book provides needed subject matter for today's tweens and could be easily used to promote lively classroom discussion about war, service, and the relationships affected.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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