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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Eleven-year-old Perry's home life is like that of most kids his age: morning ritual, school, dinner with his mom, and games with his extended family. Unlike other kids, however, Perry lives at the Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility, where he's stayed since birth with his mother, Jessica. Nearing the end of her sentence, Jessica is up for parole, and she and Perry are eager to start a new life on the outside. Opposing Jessica's parole is the county's ambitious district attorney, Tom VanLeer, stepfather of Perry's best friend. VanLeer is outraged that a child was raised in a prison and demands that Perry live with the VanLeers while the case is sorted out. Perry knows he has traded a prison that feels like home for a home that feels like a prison. He resolves to reunite with his mother and have her appeal granted. Connor subtly conveys Perry's restrained anger over being torn from his Blue River family (for instance, the boy refers to objects in his foster home as "the VanLeer closet" or "a VanLeer towel"). Perry is a memorable protagonist whose unusual upbringing gives him an understanding of and faith in human nature that brings out the best in everyone around him. He's a perfect foil for the superficial morality of VanLeer, who is no match for Perry's integrity when the boy confronts the adult on his duplicity, declaring, "Your word is no good." Rich characterizations give the novel its big heart: Jessica, Big Ed, and the other Blue River inmates are nuanced, vivid characters whose stories of perseverance after tragedy embody the novel's themes of redemption, hope, and community. VERDICT This beautifully written work will send readers' spirits soaring.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“With complex, memorable characters, a situation that demands sympathy, and a story that’s shown, not just told, this is fresh and affecting. Well-crafted, warm, and wonderful.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Rich characterizations give the novel its big heart: Jessica, Big Ed, and the other Blue River inmates are nuanced, vivid characters whose stories of perseverance after tragedy embody the novel’s themes of redemption, hope, and community. This beautifully written work will send readers’ spirits soaring.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“This book offers a different kind of diversity story that is important for kids to find on the shelf.” (Booklist)
“Readers will long remember the folks of Blue River after its gates have closed.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“In a novel filled with endearing characters, sad goodbyes, and new beginnings, Connor (Crunch) expresses the depth of Perry’s homesickness without romanticizing his life in a prison.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Every so often, a novel comes along to remind us of that what we hope is true, is true: that understanding is stronger than what seems to be justice, that kindness is deeper and fuller than anger, and that goodness can heal brokenness. This is one of those novels.” (Newbery Honor-winning author Gary D. Schmidt)
“Perry Cook is a character who steps off the page, wanders through your mind, and finds his way to your heart.” (Lynda Mullaly Hunt, New York Times bestselling author of Fish in a Tree)
“All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a book filled with tough truths, relentless optimism, fierce love and above all else gorgeous writing. I loved every heartbreaking, joyful page.” (Corey Ann Haydu, author of Rules for Stealing Stars)
“A heartwarming story with an unstoppable hero, a mystery that keeps you guessing, and a unique setting. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a rich look at family and what it means to face adversity and fly—I loved it.” (Kimberly Newton Fusco, author of Beholding Bee)
“Leslie Connor has given young readers a gentle introduction into the world of incarcerated parents in an engaging and ultimately wonderfully rewarding story.” (Nora Raleigh Baskin, author of Ruby on the Outside and Anything But Typical)
“I don’t think there’s been a book so moving and heartwarming for this age range since WONDER.” (Shoshana, Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA))
Starred Reviews for Waiting for Normal: “A heroine with spunk and spirit offers an inspiring lesson in perseverance and hope. First-rate.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Waiting for Normal)
“A story centered around loss, heartbreak, abandonment, and new beginnings.” (School Library Journal (starred review) on Waiting for Normal)
“Characters as persuasively optimistic as Addie are rare, and readers will gravitate to her. Poignant.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Waiting for Normal) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Non-readers and readers alike will be drawn to All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook--a story about a kid who grows up inside a prison is simply too fascinating to resist.