book review

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French Book Review & Nature Activity

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Maybe it was the vivid memory of being 7 years old and being in a car that my father drove through the middle of a huge tree. Every time I hear the word “redwood” this memory comes immediately to mind. That’s exactly what happened in the bookstore as I saw Operation Redwood by S Terrell French,a new release, on the counter.

Operation Redwood

I immediately purchased it, took it home, and started turning pages. This is a story that doesn’t disappoint. 12 year old Julian Carter-Li accidentally reads an email he shouldn’t be reading only to find himself in a fight to save an old growth stand of the oldest trees in the world, the Redwoods. The story unfolds with a great sense of discovery. The children discover themselves, their values, and their shared love of an old grove of trees which has become a part of their lives.

There are many twists and turns but ultimately it was the vision and spirit of team work that lead this group of young people to a brilliant success. The message is loud and clear, anyone can make a difference.



One of the reasons the children felt so connected to this grove of trees was discovery and the sharing of their discoveries. Julian didn’t know that the redwoods were in trouble. He didn’t even know it was an issue. Robin, her sister,best friend had all shared countless memories in the old grove, as well as , two big brothers who had shared a secret treehouse. Only when their sisters reached a certain age would they be told the secret of how to get up the very tall tree and into the treehouse. Julian, together with his best friend Danny, discover how to stand up for what is truly important.

With that said, it is time for us to take a journey into the woods or forest and see what we can share.

Something To Do

Let’s play ‘Into the Forest”. Here’s how we play:

  • Go as a family, or a group of friends.
  • Bring along any or all of these items;a camera,journal,sketchbook,pencils, and crayons
  • Once in the forest, set boundaries so that no one gets lost. Use the buddy system. No one is left alone.

Now we are ready for our Scavenger Hunt. Have a look at the lists below. See how many things you can find. Be sure to look, touch, smell,listen, and watch as much as you can. Please feel free to write down your discoveries,photograph them, or just sit in wonder of sharing such a grand experience.


Dead tree               Wild flowers           pine cone        Berries          Vine        Poison Ivy

Stream                    Creek                  grass                clover leaf    Moss       Pine tree

Seeds                      pods                    soil                  eroding soil  rock         mud

sand                        fern                 y shaped twig      Trash            acorn        nuts

pine needles          tree blossoms    hole in a tree        tree stump    pond         dark leaves

light leaves            small pebbles     unusual leaves      colored rocks  different shades of color

dew                   tree fungus           season changes     catepillars       squirrels    bird

ants                    butterfly             snails                      beetles           feather      salamander

lizard                   ladybug               spider                     spider web      birds nest   insects

deer tracks          raccoon tracks      frog                     leaf eat by insect  proof of animals

proof of people

Listen to:

Leaves under your feet           wind in the trees         sound of a bee

birds singing                           crickets                      Water running

Noises in the forests               Wet mud                     rotten wood

Wind blowing                          rocks hitting water       rocks tumbling in water


Pine tree        flowers            Mud        grass          water       fresh air         cedar tree

Watch and share:

Animals eating                   leaves falling to the ground      spider web being built

insect in a spider web         An ant moving something         Wind blowing in the leaves

fish jumping                       moving clouds                          sunlight coming through the trees

sunrise                               sunset                                      stars in the night sky

Lightning bugs                     reflections in water                  trail markers

animal homes                       shelters

After all of your discoveries today sit with your family or group and share all of the wonderful moments you felt, heard, touched and smelled. If you have some photos of your walk into the forest that you would like to share please do so here.

You can also download this list to take with or to create a checklist for your Into the Forest adventure.

For more information about the Redwood Forest and where you can see these trees of size of yourself have a look here: