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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger

Author, Sarah Scheerger has written a timely relatable story told in diary form with eight diverse students writing their experiences as the school year advances.
That story begins at White Oak Elementary School. Ms. Graham is a teacher with unconventional teaching methods; one of them involves having a class frog named Kermit. The pacing is the story never strays, and Scheerger addresses situations that middle school kids face every day: family life, friendship drama, and hideous homework. (YUK!)
What is impressive is the way each student writes their individual journal entries in diverse compositions. Blake is the artist, so his journaling in graphic novel format. Henry writes in a script dialogue style. These different structures in the story will engage a wide variety of readers.
Topical social issues intertwined into this middle-grade novel, such as immigration and homelessness, keep the story in perspective.
Throughout the book, the kids learn how they can make a difference in the world and are not afraid to face life’s hurdles. The students make some mistakes in the middle of the story, and one of their blunders has vital repercussions. When the students decide to go on an unapproved trip to a homeless shelter, chaos ensues, Ms. Graham blamed for authorizing without the parents’ permission and placed on administrative leave. Students have to live the consequences, and they work together to make things right. Readers will find OPERATION FROG EFFECT uplifting till the very end. The story was a marvelous read.

Annisha Jeffries About Annisha Jeffries

Annisha Jeffries is the head of the youth services department at Cleveland Public Library. She was a member of the 2007 ALSC Board and served on several selection committees, including the 2018 Caldecott Committee. A 2000-2001 Spectrum Scholarship recipient, Jeffries is currently the Chair of the Norman A, Sugarman Children's Biography Award.
She can be reached at


  1. Virginia Pratt says:

    I agree with you about this title. I found it to be accessible to many types of readers specifically because each of the characters address the “audience” in their own unique ways. The story includes well-developed characters and addresses topics/issues that students will have been exposed to but may not know a lot about yet. I think this would make a great class read-aloud and would bring up lots of discussion.

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