It's summer time and the living is easy.. so here's a good pick for anyone looking for a summer read. "Operation Redwood" by S. Terrell French takes you to the great outdoors. The Redwood Forest of California to be exact. This 2010 Green Earth Book Award winner for children's fiction is geared more for the "tween" set of 9-14; however, as a teacher, I'm always reading these kinds of books. Truthfully, I thought it made a thought-provoking read for adults as well.
The plot takes 12-year old Julian Carter-Li from his corporate-minded uncle's office & home to a polar opposite environment: a redwood grove where he meets Robin and her family in California. There Julian gets an education about the beauty and wonder of the redwood forests, and sees the majesty of an area of which is facing a potential future of logging and destruction.
It is here that Julian & Robin plot and plan "Operation Redwood" to try to save the grove of ancient trees.
An online visit to http://www.operationredwood.com/ will bring you to resources galore. You'll find:
- a link to an interactive map of redwood forests;
- a chance to read a snippet from the book;
- links on the website (and mentions in the book) to Julia Butterfly Hill, nicknamed Luna, who lived in a redwood for 2 years to protest deforestation;
- a great biography about Maryland's own S. Terrell French and her experiences growing up in the outdoors, going to Sidwell Friends School, Harvard & Berkley Law School, & the books she has most enjoyed reading.
- the "Games & Resources" tab with loads of links;
- a "Teacher Resources" tab that has some great teaching ideas as to how to use this book in the classroom. (One link takes you to http://education.savetheredwoods.org/kit/learn.html where there are even more downloadable lesson plans.)
To see the list of past Green Earth Book Award winning books to put on your summer reading list, go to http://www.newtonmarascofoundation.org/programs/a_ge_pw.cfm .