“Operation Frog Effect” by Sarah Scheerger will excite its readers. In this book, students must learn to work together. That is their challenge. The book has a great lesson, and it shows what could happen when students get carried away with good intentions but disastrous results. Though the students in the classroom may have their differences, they can all agree on one thing — they want their teacher back..
The story is told from each of the perspectives of Emily, Kai, Cecilia, Henry, Sharon, Aviva, Blake and Kayley. The book starts off with the 5th grade classroom getting a new teacher. This teacher, Ms. Graham, has interesting ways of doing her job. Every day, she has the class write in their journals, and each student does this in a different manner. Some write poems, some write letters, some draw comics, and some even write to their new class pet, Kermit the frog, and these writings become the story. The student who wants to be a director writes the story like a movie script, another writes letters to her grandma telling what happens.
However, when Ms. Graham assigns a social issues project for each table group, she tells them to pick a topic and “immerse themselves” in their project. Unfortunately, one table group takes it too far, and their wonderful teacher is blamed. One student’s life is catastrophically disrupted.
Ms. Graham told the class that one small act of kindness can ripple to other, bigger acts of kindness. Also, she said that they get to choose what kind of person they want to be. But will Emily, Kai, Cecilia, Henry, Sharon, Aviva, Blake, Kayley (and Kermit, the class frog) be able to fix what they did? It is time for Operation Frog Effect to be put into action.
I think this book is great for read alouds, especially when there are a lot of people. It is mostly for 4th or 5th graders, but some younger students can enjoy this book, too. Purchasing this book is definitely not a waste of money.
Sheerger makes this book so good that people will be waiting for more. One of the best parts is that it has real-life problems included, and it shows how passionate some people are. Readers learn that even though they do not like school, some people do not even get the chance to go. (And, there’s a teacher’s guide.)
This review was written by a junior reviewer, Jamie L., who is a fourth grader who loves to read.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Random House, for review purposes.