All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
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Annotation: Secretly being raised in prison so that he can be with his inmate mother, 11-year-old Perry is discovered by an ambitious new district attorney and brought to the outside world, where he desperately seeks to reunite with his mother while learning the truth about why she is in jail.
Catalog Number: #115969
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 381 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-233346-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-233346-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015940765
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Life changes completely for 11-year-old Perry after a crusading district attorney removes him from his mother's care and the only home he has ever known, the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility. When a class project leads Perry to explore the inmates' stories, he realizes that his mother's manslaughter conviction is based on a cover-up, and he is determined to get to the truth. Connor (Waiting for Normal, 2008) has created an unusual story about an empowered kid in a situation rarely explored in middle-grade fiction, though her author's note indicates that many correctional facilities do, in fact, have nurseries for incarcerated mothers. While a few problematic moments arise with the writing e plot contains too many fortuitous coincidences, and the shifting point of view occasionally calls the intended audience into question is book offers a different kind of diversity story that is important for kids to find on the shelf.
Horn Book
Raised inside a minimum security facility by his loving, incarcerated mom and extended prison family, eleven-year-old Perry is content--until the DA decides that his situation constitutes a crime. Equal parts mystery, prison narrative, and courtroom drama, this strikingly original story follows Perry's quest for family and forgiveness through the labyrinth of the law's gray areas. Action and heart carry this emotionally resonant tale.
Publishers Weekly
The only home 11-year-old Perry has ever known is the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in "teeny-tiny" Surprise, Neb., where his mother was incarcerated when he was born. Thanks to a compassionate warden, Perry has been able to stay close to his mother in a room near her cell for years. When the new district attorney-a stickler for rules-finds out about the arrangement, he takes guardianship of Perry, forcing him to come live with his family, much to Perry's dismay. Now Perry is determined to reunite with his mother and ensure that she makes parole, despite the attorney's objections. 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. Perry misses many of the inmates, yet he recognizes the seriousness of their crimes and the price they have to pay for their mistakes. The novel's pointed criticism of prisons' restrictions, especially regarding the separation of inmates from their families, could easily prompt discussions about reform and rehabilitation. Ages 8-12. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (Mar.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 57 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
Word Count: 80,817
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 180473 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:17.0 / quiz:Q68382
Lexile: 540L

Junior Library Guild Selection * Kids’ Indie Next List Pick

From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me.

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.

When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?

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