Title: Operation Yes
Author: Sara Lewis Holmes
ISBN: 9780545107952
Pages: 234 pages
Publisher/Date: Arthur A. Levine Books, c2009.

The students rustled with unease. Wasn’t their teacher supposed to say: “Welcome to the sixth grade, and I’m very, very glad you’re here, but as the top grade at Young Oaks, you have a responsibility to the rest of the school to set a good example”? Were they supposed to completely ignore her belly ring? Could they ask about her tattoo? And why would a teacher put tape on the floor?
Bo wanted to ask all of these questions and more. But Miss Loupe had asked her question first, and now she belted it out one more time: “WHERE AM I?” (4)

Miss Loupe is loopy. Or at least, that’s what Bo and the rest of his classmates think when they begin sixth grade at the elementary school on the Air Force base in North Carolina. That’s because not only does she have a tattoo and a belly ring, but she also taped off a large box in the middle of the room, and then placed a ratty old couch in the middle of it. But Bo has more on his mind then what Miss Loupe is doing in the classroom, and in fact it’s actually the one thing he likes about his life. His dad might be moving the family again, and his cousin Geri moves in with them when her mom gets sent off to Iraq as an Army nurse. Sure Miss Loupe is weird, but when something happens that forces them to have a substitute, Bo, Geri, and the rest of room 208 learn just what really matters; how to say yes.

Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes is not what I expected from the book. But then again, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the disjointed description on the jacket cover, which certainly grabbed my attention if nothing else. There are reviews on the back cover from Linda Urban and Barbara O’Connor, both authors I really like. While the first chapter certainly draws readers in with the uncertainty of what Miss Loupe is going to do in that classroom, I liked how the stories were combined at the end of the novel. It’s the unexpected that keeps readers reading, and guessing what’s going to happen. While I doubt every sixth grade class would be so welcoming to Miss Loupe’s off the wall schemes and plans, it’s a good introduction to improv theatre and the mixed feelings of millitary children.

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