Reviews for Operation Clean Sweep


Booklist Reviews 2004 September #2
Gr. 3-6. When 12-year-old Cornelius Sanwick overhears his mother and her friends discussing the upcoming election in Umatilla, Oregon, he learns that she is secretly running for mayor against his father, the incumbent. The women are disgusted with the way the men have managed municipal issues and now that it's 1916, they intend to make a clean sweep of the local public offices. Corn is caught between agreeing with his mother about the town's problems and feeling disloyal to his father by keeping secret what he knows. Beard's story, based on real events, features believable characters, strong local color, and a plot that gently makes its point without offending anyone. Subplots--involving a good friend with an annoying habit; Corn's first love; and a notorious pickpocket, Sticky Fingers Fred--round out the action. A timely choice for classroom read-alouds, this might spark discussions about equal rights, suffragettes, or campaign tactics. ((Reviewed September 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
In 1916, Corn and his friend Otis stumble across the women of Umatilla, Oregon, planning to elect Corn's mother mayor instead of re-electing his father. The true story of the women pooling their votes is fascinating and little known, but unfortunately Beard sometimes uses modern phrases and weights her story down with awkwardly inserted exposition about the Great War and other historical facts. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 August #1
Corn is caught in the middle when his Suffragist mother secretly decides to run against his father, who is up for reelection as mayor. Beard recounts the true historical event-when a group of forthright women ran for and won all the major positions in Umatilla, Oregon, in 1916-through the eyes of a boy trying to understand the new concept of equal rights without betraying his loyalty to his father and the typical male perspective. The women have a clearer vision of how funds and services should be administered and where the town's basic needs and maintenance have been neglected. And with the women holding the majority vote against the men, Corn is torn between agreeing with his mother's civic ideas and not telling his father the truth. In addition to the moral issues of lies and secrets, school reports by Corn and his classmates touch on topics related to WWI and the use of animals on the front lines, introducing early-20th-century world news. Beard has once again used her mildly intriguing fiction to bring to light another little-known actual episode that significantly impacted a small town's history. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 October #1
Operation Clean Sweep by Darleen Bailey Beard is the latest historically-based tale by the author of The Babbs Switch Story (about which PW wrote, "colorful, period-flavored dialogue keeps this tale moving at a fast clip"). In 1916 Oregon, Cornelius "Corn" Sanwick is incredulous when he discovers that the women in town plan to vote a woman into office, replacing his father as mayor. Corn gets a lesson in democracy from the town's suffragists-led by his mother, who aims to be mayor. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
Gr 4-7-Cornelius Sanwick, 12, is in a quandary. His father is mayor of Umatilla, OR, and running for reelection. Now Corn has found out that his mother is secretly campaigning for the same position. The year is 1916, and Oregon is one of only 11 states that have given women the right to vote. The boy doesn't know which parent to support, but he realizes that his mother is likely to win because the town has more women than men. Should he tell his father about his mom's secret plan? This story is based on an actual event that brought national attention to Umatilla and women's suffrage. The story moves along quite well and is fueled by several subplots concerning a villainous pickpocket, Cornelius's interest in a classmate, and various school assignments that give readers not only a sense of the time period, but also common experiences with which to identify. Most fiction titles on women's suffrage are from a girl's viewpoint, so Corn's point of view gives the subject another dimension. The boy's dilemma keeps him thinking and questioning where he stands on women in politics and his decisions seem realistically made as he begins to change his attitude. The book has larger-than-usual type and is lots of fun. A great addition to historical-fiction collections.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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