'Operation S.O.U.P' a hit with young readers

Friday, January 31, 2014

By Karen Hall


Local author Judy Gill was at the Marshall County Memorial Library this week, reading her new book "Operation S.O.U.P." to a mother and her two daughters, the only ones who showed up for bigger kids' story time Tuesday afternoon.

SOUP stands for Serving Others Unconditionally Project, and the book, told all in rhyme, teaches friendship, acceptance, and unconditional love.

"Operation S.O.U.P." is the second in a planned series of eight children's books, covering the life of heroine J from age 8 to 88. J was eight years old in the first book, "Wish U Well," but in "Operation S.O.U.P." she is 18, and helping people in her community. In the last book, J will be a great-grandmother.

"The whole series is about bringing people back," said Gill. "The books are each a chapter in her life."

She tried playing the recording she and her brother made of her reading the book, with sound effects added by him, but the CD failed partway through, so Gill ended up reading the whole book out loud herself.

The small audience thoroughly enjoyed it.

"I thought it was a really good book. It taught a lesson," said Eve Robbins, a fourth grader at Cornersville Elementary School.

"I'm tickled pink you guys showed up," said Gill.

She told them the third book in the series is already written. In it, J goes off to college, and some of the characters introduced in "Operation S.O.U.P." are developed more fully.

"I like to be able to touch people's hearts and be able to help out," Gill said. "I like to be able to create moral stories. I want to encourage the young in gardening and canning."

She's promoting "Operation S.O.U.P." all around Marshall County, as well as farther afield in Middle Tennessee. She visited two local daycares on Wednesday, and held a book signing at Mildred's Restaurant on Thursday.

"I promote it in different ways in different places," Gill said. In the summer she was at the Farmers Market with advance copies of "Operation S.O.U.P." and jars of soup made according to the recipe in the book.

Her publisher for the series is Tate Publishing. "Operation S.O.U.P." is available at the Marshall County Public Library, as well as from online booksellers.