All the Right Stuff
All the Right Stuff

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Annotation: After his father is killed in a random shooting, Paul volunteers at a soup kitchen where he learns about "the social contract" from an elderly African American man, and mentors a teenaged unwed mother who wants a college basketball scholarship.
Catalog Number: #70444
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 213 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-196089-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-60788-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-196089-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-60788-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011024251
Dimensions: 19 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When his troubled father is killed in a street shooting, 16-year-old Paul determines to become the hero his father never was. The means to this end present themselves when he lands a community-service job working at a soup kitchen. The elderly proprietor, Elijah I. Jones, introduces the boy to the concept of the social contract. Soon Paul's job is far more than just serving soup to seniors; it is a de facto seminar on citizen-government interaction, social justice, and civil liberties. Set in Myers' signature Harlem neighborhood, this novel of ideas is a challenging but rewarding read that invites readers to learn, along with Paul, a complex philosophical d practical ncept. The story is made more accessible by Myers' ability to create appealing characters whose presence dramatizes his otherwise expository material, while a subplot involving a 17-year-old single mother further humanizes the story. While the book will find an extracurricular readership, it will also prove invaluable for classroom use. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A robust marketing campaign will ensure that this new book from best-selling and critically acclaimed Myers gets significant attention from educators and librarians.
Horn Book
Sixteen-year-old Paul takes a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen, run by eighty-four-year-old Elijah, who insists Paul contemplate social contract theory. Paul is also mentoring seventeen-year-old single-mom Keisha, determined to build a future for herself through basketball. Readers will be persuaded by Myers's main argument--that you can't hope to improve the system unless you engage with it.
Kirkus Reviews
Until he met Elijah, 16-year-old Paul never considered how one person's decisions and actions might affect the entire community. Paul DuPree has taken on two jobs: work in a soup kitchen and the required mentoring of a young basketball player. At the soup kitchen, he meets Elijah Jones, the project's driving force and resident philosopher. Elijah sees himself as doing more than filling bellies. He believes he is fulfilling the "social contract." As Elijah trains Paul, he urges him to consider his ideas. Paul is skeptical but tries to apply the concepts to questions about his recently deceased father and the teen mom he is mentoring. Paul never had much of a relationship with his father, described as "forty-two-year-old Richard DuPree, underemployed ex-felon, ex-drug addict, father of one." Keisha, high-school dropout and mother of a little girl, needs Paul's help to fulfill her dream of professional basketball. She resists Elijah's ideas. "Because the rules don't work for everybody, and so they don't go for everybody." Myers, the recently named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has crafted a provocative exploration of social philosophy and shows how it can resonate in the lives of the young and the disadvantaged. Paul's quest for understanding seems heartfelt and real, though there are times when the story slows down as characters discuss their views. A novel that will provide teachers and others a relevant tool for introducing and discussing a complex subject. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Printz-winner Myers (Monster) expertly turns a series of Socratic dialogues on the nature of the social contract into an engrossing and fast-paced novel that never feels preachy. Shortly after his father is killed by a stray bullet, Harlem teenager Paul DuPree takes a summer job in a soup kitchen. His elderly supervisor, Elijah, engages Paul in discussions about the social contract, introducing him to the basic concepts, as well as to the teachings of Locke, Hobbes, Hume, and Rousseau. Paul also hears from neighborhood gangster Sly, whose college studies have persuaded him that the social contract is just a tool to keep the poor in check. As Paul weighs the opposing viewpoints, he applies what he learns to his late father-s life, as well as the lives lived by the senior citizens Elijah helps, Paul-s other family members, and Keisha, a basketball player he-s mentoring by helping her with her outside game. Myers fits a large cast and many motivations into a relatively small work, and they in turn transform this extended examination of political philosophy into a must-read novel. Ages 14-up. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up&12; As Paul Dupree enters the summer before his senior year, his father is killed. Between time in jail and his drug addiction, fatherhood was not a priority for the man. Shortly after his death, Paul lands a summer community job at Elijah Jones's Soup Emporium in Harlem, and, as part of his assignment, he mentors Keisha Marant, a teenage mom and basketball superstar, in order to improve her outside shot. He spends his time with Elijah, an octogenarian, learning about soup and the social contract. He develops relationships with Elijah, Keisha, the regulars at the soup kitchen, and Sly&12;a possible thug who rejects the basics of the "Social Contract." Paul uses his experience with his father; conversations with Elijah, whose wisdom and patience are new to him; and the relationships he develops over the summer to make up his mind about the philosophies of Jean Jacques Rousseau and others on how to succeed in life. The plot is dense with dialogue about the social contract. Myers does a thorough job of covering different aspects, holes, arguments for and against, and questions involving the theory. He also does an excellent job of relating it to urban African American culture today. Reluctant readers might give up on this novel early on, but those who stick with it will find it rewarding. A good fit for school libraries in which the social contract is taught or emphasized.&12; Adrienne L Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ
Word Count: 40,529
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 151333 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q64707
Lexile: HL810L

New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen’s perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers weaves together political philosophy, basketball, and making soup in Harlem, with the depth that defines his writing career.
 
After his father is shot and killed, Paul Dupree finds a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen. Elijah, the soup man, questions Paul about tough life choices, even though Paul would rather be playing basketball. Over the summer, Paul begins to understand the importance of taking control of your life.
 
All the Right Stuff includes a Q&A between Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman, coauthor of Kick.


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