OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP by Darleen Bailey Beard


Age Range: 9 - 11
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Corn is caught in the middle when his Suffragist mother secretly decides to run against his father, who is up for reelection as mayor. Beard recounts the true historical event—when a group of forthright women ran for and won all the major positions in Umatilla, Oregon, in 1916—through the eyes of a boy trying to understand the new concept of equal rights without betraying his loyalty to his father and the typical male perspective. The women have a clearer vision of how funds and services should be administered and where the town’s basic needs and maintenance have been neglected. And with the women holding the majority vote against the men, Corn is torn between agreeing with his mother’s civic ideas and not telling his father the truth. In addition to the moral issues of lies and secrets, school reports by Corn and his classmates touch on topics related to WWI and the use of animals on the front lines, introducing early-20th-century world news. Beard has once again used her mildly intriguing fiction to bring to light another little-known actual episode that significantly impacted a small town’s history. (author’s note) (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-374-38034-1
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2004


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