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Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French
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Comments for Operation Redwood

Operation Redwood: 08/31/14

cover art

I'm writing this review in a state of frustration, not at the book but at myself. I finished reading Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French at a time when my laptop (my main access point to the internet) was dead and I didn't have the funds to replace it. That meant I was writing reviews by hand and typing them with a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my ipod. It wasn't an ideal blogging situation and things I was sure I had written weren't or if they were written, they were lost somewhere in the pipeline.

So here I am months after the fact writing (or re-writing) a review for Operation Redwood, a tween book about illegal old growth harvesting. It's set in both San Francisco and near Willits, California, presumably in the Jackson State Forest.

Julian Carter-Li is living with his aunt and uncle and he desperately wants to be with his mother. She, though, is oversees on an important assignment and feels it would be better for him to stay in California. And it's while he's waiting for his uncle to take him home that he stumbles across an email addressed to him from an angry girl living in Willits accusing him of plotting to destroy an old growth redwood grove near her home.

Julian, already believing his uncle is no good, and desperate to escape for the summer until his mother can return, decides to meet the girl in person. Thus unfolds a plot that's very similar in execution and passion to Nate's Broadway adventure in Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. Here though the destination is a summer camp in Willits and the goal is to stop Julian's uncle from cutting down the trees.

It's a quick paced and entertaining book that will leave readers knowing a thing or two more about the redwood forests and the logging industry. It's less heavy handed than There's an Owl in my Shower by Jean Craighead George, though it does share some of the nature lessons of my older book, My Side of the Mountain.

To learn more about the author and the book, there's a website. And for a historical perspective on redwood logging and conservation, I recommend Valley of the Giants by Peter B. Kyne.

Five stars

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