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OPERATION REDWOOD by S. Terrell French


By S. Terrell French

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8354-0
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

This satisfying eco-adventure stars sixth grader Julian Carter-Li, who has been left with a rich uncle in San Francisco while his mother researches in China. A leisurely buildup introduces the characters, outlines the issue of cutting old-growth redwoods and recounts the serendipitous series of events that leads Julian to discover and run away from his uncle’s plan to send him to summer math camp. Hiding out at Huckleberry Ranch, he and new friend Robin explore the neighboring forest his uncle has a permit to clear-cut. The suspense ramps up as Julian is discovered and returned to the city. Helped by best friend Danny Lopez, he and Robin hatch a series of plans to save the grove. Though traditional in concept—a band of young people, a summer adventure and the timely appearance of a previously unknown relative—the absorbing third-person narrative is modernized with the inclusion of e-mails. Adults play stock roles; the focus is on the young—a group that becomes gratifyingly diverse in age as well as experience and ethnic background. A highly enjoyable read. (Fiction. 9-12)