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See what's streaming, limit strong violence or language, and find picks your kids will love with Common Sense Media Plus. Fish is a helpfully knowledgeable narrator, explaining nautical terms and referencing intriguing facts and bits of history, including mention of a German plot that led to a U-boat landing in New York. Sidebars offer interested readers facts on Thomas Edison, widow's walks, planing, lightning, and more. Perseverance and fair play are celebrated through Fish's quest to win the race.

Strong messages about working as a team, displaying good sportsmanship, and doing the right thing. Confident Fish is generally very responsible. He takes maritime safety rules seriously, and, when he disregards safety in a bid to beat Bryce, he acknowledges that he's letting his emotions get the better of him.

He gets a late start in the race because he helps another racer adjust a motor. His friends collaborate as a team.


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When Fish and his friends get in trouble for breaking rules and putting themselves in danger, they accept the consequences -- mostly a lot of chores -- with good humor. There's some humanizing insight into why Bryce is so abrasive. Adults give children room to experiment, succeed, and fail but also hold them accountable for their behavior. Several boys on a boat are rescued by Fish and his friends in a dangerous storm. The boys are spooked by rumors about children who disappeared from Get Lost Island. There's typical tween teasing. Sometimes the words are from a bully and sting more, but there's nothing stronger than "freak," birdbrain," and "dork.

Parents need to know that Operation Fireball is a feel-good chapter book perfect for reluctant readers , particularly boys. Fish Finelli is smart and grounded, finding everyday adventure with loyal friends. Class friction underlies the central conflict, which is driven by a bully who's more of a taunting rival than a menacing threat. Sidebars offer fun facts and explainers on topics including oysters, lightning, and compasses.

Add your rating. Fish Finelli desperately wants to win the Captain Kid Classic boat race -- for bragging rights, sure, but also to finally put sneering Bryce Billings in his place. He's sure he can skillfully handle the Fireball, an old whaler he and his friends have been fixing up, but his best effort might not be enough to win against Bryce's powerful and expensive Viper.

Operation Fireball

But Fish has some solid advantages: ingenuity, know-how, and helpful friends. But he's so focused on going head to head with his rival, he's startled to discover on race day that there's a dark horse in the running. Fish is easy to relate to, the kind of kid anyone would want as a friend. Given so many books centered on tween boys who chafe at school, it's refreshing to have a protagonist who's capable, smart, and very likable: His tendency to delve into facts and explanations is never show-offy, and his friends enjoy him.

The only sour note is the use of a pudgy boy who snacks constantly as an easy comic target.

Jason Beene's full-page grayscale artwork and illustrated sidebars will help win over readers reluctant to dive into text-heavy chapter books. Fish is a great character, and I like how he solves his own problems. He is also devoted to sailing and I enjoyed reading about a kid who likes to sail.

Farber has an enjoyable writing style. I love all of the humor she put in the story.

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I really enjoyed the little fact boxes and diagrams about things in the book. That was a nice touch. The illustrations scattered in the book were great too. They had a very cool style. I like a good story. Won a copy from Good Reads First Reads My 10 year old son read this as part of his weekly reading challenge for school. He loved it!! All the things little boys love. He got a big kick out of that line every time. At the end when we found out who the boat racer i Won a copy from Good Reads First Reads My 10 year old son read this as part of his weekly reading challenge for school.

I as a parent thought it was just great!! This book meet all the criteria to keep a boy interested. We all loved it.

Common Sense says

Will be looking for more books by E. Farber especially the first one in the series. Feb 24, Ms. Yingling rated it liked it. Fish and his friends are back, and this time they are bound and determined to win the Captain Kidd motor boat race. Bryce, who is snooty and lives in a mansion, has a brand new, high powered boat, so it will be hard to beat him, but Fish has a lot of confidence in his old motor.

He gets an older boy to help him redo the engine, and enters the race.

Operation Fireball

Things go wrong, but Fish does the right thing. He doesn't win the race, but he wins some friends and the confidence of his parents. Strengths: I lik Fish and his friends are back, and this time they are bound and determined to win the Captain Kidd motor boat race. Strengths: I liked this more than the first book, mainly because the plot is more realistic. Fish is a good character-- he means well, but things don't always work out for him.

This had some fun action and adventure, with a touch of survival, and the side bars with factual information are usually interesting. Some are a bit odd, like the one about Julius Caesar! Weaknesses: This is still a bit young for my group, but if I had an elementary library, I would definitely buy the series. Jan 01, Annette Vellenga rated it really liked it.

My son's review is simple. Bryce is just stupid and not very nice. Fish was nice and it meant well.. I shouldn't tell you because then I'll be giving away the ending. Read this book it's good mom". My Thoughts: I haven't read the book but I have loved my son's reaction to it. He's been telling me all that is happening but his emotion regarding Bryce has been My son's review is simple.

He's been telling me all that is happening but his emotion regarding Bryce has been so fun to watch He's met a villain not that Bryce is a true villain but he's a not very likable character.

Kerry Kennedy Book Talk-Fish Finelli Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles by E.S. Farber

He liked how the book ended, he's liked the characters, Clementine surprised him but it was a good surprise. Jason Beene does a good job with the illustrations, the snippets of information in the sidebar my lad likes. Good book and we want the next in the series. Living by the ocean has its perks, and those who live in Fish Finelli's neighborhood year-round get to enjoy them all the time.

Of course things change in the summer. Tourists arrive. Clams and oysters can be harvested. Then there's the big boat race Fish and friends are desperate to win the race, but can their home-grown engine have a chance against the snobby rich kids? Fish finds himself tested, especially when it comes to helping out his competition. This is a lighthearted summer book wit Living by the ocean has its perks, and those who live in Fish Finelli's neighborhood year-round get to enjoy them all the time.

This is a lighthearted summer book with occasional black and white illustrations, making it a good choice for beginning chapter-book readers. Aug 14, Kim Heimbuch rated it it was amazing. At first look, the cover grabs your attention and seeing the shovel and map you immediately know these boys are about to have some fun. Mann get it? Mystery man! Feb 13, Barbara rated it liked it Shelves: animals , bullies , compassion , character-building , families , friendship , humor , vehicles. In this installment of a maritime-related series, Fish Finelli, the book's protagonist, is stuck with a less than adequate motor to power his beloved Fireball.

With help from his friends and plenty of determination, Fish is able to give his arch rival, Bryce, a run for his money. Shelves: mystery-adventure. Even if Fish, Roger and T. A hilarious, action-packed romp filled with non-fiction sidebars, this latest installment in the entertaining new chapter book series is hotter than a fireball. Seller Inventory BTE More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Chronicle Books. Seller Inventory ZZN. Seller Inventory AAC Book Description Chronicle Books, Paperback or Softback. Fish Finelli Book 2 : Operation Fireball.