Lovable characters and a fun plot quickly swept me up into the world of Operation Redwood. Julian is staying at his successful businessman uncle's house while his mother is in China for the opportunity of a lifetime. The living situation is less than ideal for Julian though, and one day he stumbles across an email from an angry girl stating that his uncle's firm will be cutting down redwoods for a profit. Julian and his best friend Danny begin an adventure to try to reverse his uncle's decision in order to save the redwoods. The boys connect with Robin, who lives by the land in question. Through their adventures the city boys learn about the magic of the trees.
Danny was the type of character that I can instantly see my students loving. His wit and humor reminded me of Manny from Heat that my students noted as a highlight of the book. The other characters complement each other making a dynamic team ready to stand up for what they think is right.
The book is in a creative format with a mixture of narrative and emails. The pages also have fun leaves at the bottom going along with the books' theme. Not only does the book tell a fun, entertaining plot, but it is also very educational bringing awareness to the redwoods. The author's note at the end gives further background information.
I am especially excited that my class will be connecting with S. Terrell French in the fall through Class of 2k9's authors to go program. We had hoped to do it this in the spring right after the release, but end of the year busyness was not going to make that easy. I bought 10 copies of the book and cannot wait for my students to read it in the fall and have the unique opportunity to interact with the author. Best of all, one of the boys in particular that I envision really getting into the book, is typically hard to match to books that he loves.