OPERATION YES by Sara Lewis Holmes (Arthur A. Levine Books 2009)

August 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

operation yesEvery child should have a Miss Pointy (Sahara Special) or a Miss Loupe for a teacher at least once in his/her school life. Miss Loupe, the new sixth grade teacher at Young Oaks elementary school on an Air Force base in North Carolina, starts opening day by going on her hands and knees to tape a large rectangle in front of the room. By watching her crawl around, the children see her twelve-studded ear, a bird tattoo on her left hip, and a belly ring. “This space,” announces Miss Loupe, “is the Taped Space, or Theatrical Space, or Temporary Stage, the place where you can be or say anything.” Miss Loupe teaches the required subjects, but the real lessons happen when she is in the TS where imagination, teamwork, and saying yes to new experiences are conveyed. For Bo new experiences start immediately. His cousin Gari will be living in his house and going to his sixth grade class because her mother has been sent to Afghanistan. Neither cousin is happy by this arrangement. A short time passes and their magical teacher is devastated by news that her brother is missing in Afghanistan. When he is found, he has lost an eye and a foot. The class goes into action and raises money for hospitalized servicemen. The TS becomes their vehicle to express their commitment to art, to Miss Loupe, and to wounded soldiers. The Afghanistan war is far from the consciousness of most Americans. Holmes’ book raises the possibility for discussing what life might be like for children of soldier parents and what citizens owe to the military.

J Fiction, recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)

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THERE written and illustrated by Mary Fitzpatrick (Roaring Brook Press, 2009) THE LONGEST NIGHT by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Ted Lewin (Holiday House 2009)

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