Thursday, June 06, 2024

52. Operation Happy

Operation: Happy. Jenni L. Walsh. 2024. 240 pages. [Source: Library] [j historical fiction, mg historical fiction, animal fantasy]

First sentence: A dog is at the top of my wish list. I unwrap number three: a Monopoly board game. Then I pluck number five from under the Christmas tree: a Shirley Temple doll. And number two: a new Nancy Drew book. But number one is still very much missing. 

Operation: Happy is historical fiction--set around the Second World War--narrated by a girl, Jody, and her dog, Happy. Jody is used to moving frequently; her dad is a marine. Happy will be a constant in her life. No matter how many places, how many schools, how many friends she leaves behind--her and Happy together forever and ever. The family's newest home is [near] the naval base Pearl Harbor. Her mom--who is mentally and emotionally unstable--is fearful of the island. She has visions of great doom--even before they arrive on the island. Her daughters--Jody and Peggy--try to make the most of things. Sure Mom has horrible feelings about Hawaii but should they??? Jody may not share her mom's concerns exactly, however, she does begin to worry that Happy may die soon among other things....

This historical middle grade novel is set before, during, and after Pearl Harbor. It is told from both her point of view and that of Happy. 

My thoughts: I was NERVOUS. Dog on the cover: check. Set during a war: check. Possible foreshadowing in the first few chapters that the dog's health is declining: check. Would Happy survive to the end of the book? Would I be okay if Happy didn't???? Putting aside the dog issue, there is plenty of peril for the humans involved in this story. 

I am glad I read this one. I've been in a huge reading slump. I've lacked motivation to keep turning chapters. Maria and Operation: Happy are proving to me that I do still want to read.

© 2024 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

No comments: