The book I read is called Operation Redwood. This book takes place in San Francisco and a Northern California town called Willits. The main characters are Julian Carter-Li, his uncle Sibley Carter, and a girl who lives in Northern California named Robin Elder. Julian's uncle is a CEO of a big company and his company has been planning to cut down a forest of old-growth Redwood trees in Northern California. This is how Julian meets Robin; Robin sent an email titled "SIBLEY CARTER IS A WORLD-CLASS JERK." to Julian's uncle, but Julian found it before his uncle and deleted it (but not before forwarding it to his best friend, Danny Lopez). Julian continues to contact Robin from Danny's house and together they think of a plan to get Julian to Robin's farm, Huckleberry Ranch. Unfortunately, Julian is supposed to be at math camp, so when his aunt finds out that he's not there, she’s upset, and goes to Willits to get him. It seems like this will be the end of Operation Redgrove, their plan to save Old Tree Grove (the forest of old-growth trees that Sibley Carter's company is going to cut down), but the story doesn’t end here.
I liked this book but it was not one of the best I have read. The book has some key things I liked and some I didn't. I thought the plot was good and I also really liked the author's ability to make me feel like I was actually looking at the settings. I also liked some of the characters, especially Julian, Danny, Robin, Nancy and Ariel because they seemed like real people. However, Sibley was not the typical uncle to me and he and his wife were way too harsh and evil for real relatives. Also, Bob Elder was nothing like I pictured him. I pictured him a balding sweet professor who loved the outdoors, but Bob was almost as harsh as Sibley and he wasn't anything like I thought he would be. He was critical of Julian and was a pretty mean father towards Robin. I think the author thought she achieved her purpose of writing this book but I didn't really get it. I thought most of the story was pretty powerful and definitely age-appropriate. I think the strengths are that the title is very captivating and the story has a good plot, but there are some parts that don't really work. There are a few parts in the middle of the book were I got really bored and the parts didn't make much sense. I don't read many realistic fiction books and even though most of this book really is fiction it is not the kind I personally read. I don't think this book will be as popular as, say, Twilight or Harry Potter, but it does target people who like to help the Earth because it is really environmentally-themed. I have not read another book by S. Terrell French and for a first book, I thought it was pretty good, although I thought some parts of it were dull. I really think this book needs a prequel, because a lot of the things discussed in the book refer to things that previously happened, and that makes it confusing. I did learn a lot about Redwoods and about old-growth trees and would recommend this book to others because I found it to be very interesting and captivating.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States