Review Blog

Sep 26 2011

Operation Eiffel Tower by Elen Caldecott

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Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4088 2573 2.
(Age 11+) What happens to children when their parents separate? How do children cope? Elen Caldecott tackles this sensitive topic in Operation Eiffel Tower. Lauren, Jack, Ruby and Billy have been listening to their parents argue for a long time and finally, in the summer holidays, their Dad moves out. The children come up with a plan to try and get their parents back together and with the help of Lauren's fashion magazine they decide to save and send them to Paris. Their hope is that their Mum and Dad will fall in love again as they won't have the kids to worry about!
As the holidays progress, they try several ways to make the money - from busking to winning a mini golf tournament - but they just don't get enough. Finally, after one of the children is hit by a car, they get their parents together under the Eiffel Tower at the Mini Golf Course where Jack works. With the help of some older family friends, the children have finally gotten their parents to talk about what happens next instead of arguing and while the parents aren't getting back together, they are starting to think about the effects on the children as well.
Elen Caldecott handles this tricky topic with seriousness and comedy. Many children today will relate to the story of this family and hopefully they will understand they have a voice as Jack bravely stands up to his parents and asks if they know what he and his brother and sisters want. Due to the sensitive nature and descriptive language used, I would recommend this book to independent readers aged 11+.
Kylie Kempster

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