"Teachers will be able to use this novel for Earth Day discussions and can foster conversations on environmental activism of all types. The resolution reminds readers that everyone, no matter how large or small, can take action on issues that are important to them."
-- School Library Journal
"Operation Redwood" will definitely be an addition to my library and used for many reasons -- great examples of 'voice', a great adventure story, an opportunity to look at cultures that are different from my own students, and an opportunity to talk about some very important environmental issues. I feel like I hit the jackpot with this one!!"
OPERATION REDWOOD is an environmental adventure, filled with humor and surprising plot twists. It’s a coming-of-age story with a multicultural cast of characters. It’s about friendship and family, betrayal and forgiveness, and the power of money and truth, hope and action. It touches on the unique history of California's redwoods and the complexities of civil disobedience and introduces readers to a memorable crew of smart kids who care about the world around them.
OPERATION REDWOOD is great for boys and girls and for diverse classrooms throughout the country. It is set both in San Francisco and the forests of Mendocino County and features a twelve-year-old boy, Julian Carter-Li (who has a Chinese-American mother), his Spanish-speaking best friend, Danny Lopez, and two spirited girls from Mendocino County.
Are you interested in linking a unit on redwood ecology with the reading of OPERATION REDWOOD? More information about redwoods can be found at "The Redwood Forest" page of this website. The educational page of the website for Save the Redwoods League directs you to fact sheets, brochures, and curriculum about the redwood forest. "Redwood Ed -- A Guide for Teachers and Learners" can be downloaded or ordered directly from the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. A 10-minute 1940 movie about redwood logging would provoke a fascinating class discussion about environmental values and how they have evolved (or not) in the last seventy years. Or check out the interesting lesson plans for teaching about American conservationist John Muir.
Is your classroom inspired to action after reading OPERATION REDWOOD? There is an ongoing effort to save an old-growth forest in Mendocino County right now! The site is west of Willits, in exactly the same location as the fictional Big Tree Grove on Huckleberry Ranch. Your students can read more about it in the San Francisco Chronicle article (click here). And they can follow in Robin's and Julian's footsteps by having fundraiser to help Save The Redwoods League purchase this important property.
The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a new six-part series by Ken Burns, will air September 27 and contains special information for educators.
Richard Preston's "The Wild Trees" and Joan Dunning's "From the Redwood Forest" both provide fascinating background reading for adults.
School visits to the redwoods, and associated curriculum, are available at a number of sites in Northern California, including Armstrong Redwoods SNR, Muir Woods and Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
Click here for the Operation Redwood Discussion and Activity Guide for Teachers (Grades 5 - 7) >
For information on grants and curriculum relating to environmental issues, check out the National Environmental Education Foundation website.