Illustrator: Gina Perry
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on February 26, 2019
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary
If one small act can create a ripple across the universe . . . what happens when a whole group of kids join together and act?
Told in eight perspectives--including one in graphic novel form--Operation Frog Effect is perfect for fans of Andrew Clements, Rob Buyea, and Sarah Weeks, and for anyone who wants to make a difference.
Hi--It's us, Ms. Graham's class. We didn't mean to mess things up. But we did. We took things too far, and now Ms. Graham is in trouble--for something we did. We made a mistake. The question is, can we fix it? Ms. Graham taught us that we get to choose the kind of people we want to be and that a single act can create ripples. So get ready, world--we're about to make some ripples.Sincerely, Kayley, Kai, Henry, Aviva, Cecilia, Blake, Sharon, Emily (and Kermit, class frog)
Everyone makes mistakes. But what happens when your mistake hurts someone else? Told in eight perspectives--including one in graphic novel form, Operation Frog Effect celebrates standing up and standing together, and tells the unforgettable story of how eight very different kids take responsibility for their actions and unite for a cause they all believe in.
"A heartfelt novel with complex characters who realize that to promote change in the world, they first have to change how they see each other."--John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day
Operation Frog Effect is a story told in journal form–with eight (diverse) kids who are writing their experiences as the school year progresses. The kids use multiple formats. For instance, one writes mostly in verse while another does his journaling in graphic novel format. These different formats are sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers.
Right from the start, I could tell that the characters were going to be incredibly relatable: the story starts with Emily, who’s confused by the fact that her two best friends didn’t sit with her on the first day of school. She’s sure it’s a mistake. Well, pretty sure.
That beginning set just the right tone and let me know that this book was going to tug at my heartstrings and address situations that middle school kids face every day. It also tackles some tougher topics as well, like learning disabilities, immigration and homelessness. The fact that these issues are handled in the midst of problems that almost all kids can relate to makes them that much more accessible. Throughout the book, the kids learn how they can make a difference in the world, one small step at a time. But, as kids often do, they make some mistakes along the way–and one of their mistakes has some pretty major repercussions. The kids have to live with some of those consequences–and to fight to make things right. Kids will find the ending both inspiring and empowering!
This book will especially appeal to the younger end of the MG spectrum (not that older kids can’t enjoy it too–it just seems aimed a little younger). It would be perfect for a classroom or as a readalong with your kids because it will spark lots of discussion!
***Disclosure: While I didn’t receive this book for review (I bought it), I feel like I should point out that Sarah is represented by my agent and I’ve spoken to her personally. All opinions are still my own, of course!***
Art by Gina Perry.
News About the Book:
– Operation Frog Effect has been selected as one of three new releases for Random House’s “School Stories Educator’s Guide”.
Meet the Audiobook Cast: They cast nine voiceover artists for the audio version of this book, and you can hear clips of all of them. I was especially curious to see how they would handle Blake (since his portion of the book is a graphic novel!), and I thought they managed it quite cleverly. Check it out!
About the Author:
Sarah Lynn (Scheerger) works as a clinical social worker with at-risk youth, helping them figure out who they are and who they want to be. She also provides counseling to adults and couples. She lives in southern California with her husband and children. Sarah started out writing under her first and middle name (Sarah Lynn) because she thought having a pen name seemed mysterious and cool. However, over time she’s transitioned to writing under her real name as well (both Sarah Scheerger and Sarah Lynn Scheerger). Sarah loves reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
Check out Sarah’s Top Ten Addictions! I can relate to quite a few of these. (For instance, I’ll confess that I stay in my PJs for as long as I can get away with it!)
Sarah Scheerger’s Top Ten Addictions
- My Family
I can’t get enough of my kids. I miss them when they’re away and I’m happiest when they’re nearby. I love being with family.
(I do like a bit of “me time” in small chunks . . . preferably in conjunction with Addiction #5 and #7, although it can’t hurt to throw in #8 and #9 too).
I’ve found some treasured friends over the years. You know the kind. People who’ve become close enough to consider family. (See addiction #1)
There’s never enough.
Probably because there’s Truly. Never. Enough. (Reference addiction #1)
When I get busy (or my kids get busy, which means I get busy), I shave time off the sleep department. (Hence the need for addiction #5.)
Confession. I chew gum (sugarless) almost constantly. Preferably mint flavor. It’s a constant accessory. I feel naked without gum. Go interpret that! 😊
- Chai tea latte (or anything caffeinated and sweet)
My favorite hot drink! There was a time when I tried to alternate my caffeine days so I wouldn’t get dependent. Let’s just say those days are long gone. When things are busy sometimes I hit my favorite coffee place twice in one day.
- My phone
I try not to be compulsive about it, but if someone actually counted how many times I pick up my phone a day. . . I’d be embarrassed. I fall into the trap of thinking that if I just stay on top of my messages as they come in, it will be less overwhelming. But of course, that interrupts being in the moment and being mindful. I try not to let it interrupt time with special people (addiction #1 and #2), but it’s a struggle to keep that phone out of sight.
- Writing time
There never seems to be enough time for writing. My days are very full, so there’s not much extra for this special endeavor. I try to make as much time as I can, but I crave more. (Isn’t that the definition of addiction?) Writing time rejuvenates me.
Not enough time for this either. But I LOVE it. Considering how much I enjoy it, it’s a shame I don’t get to a class very often. I find it rejuvenating too.
Need I say more?
- Comfy PJs
Preferably combined with a cozy blanket, a great movie, and my kids snuggled up close.