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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Cover of All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

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?

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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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Waiting for Normal, winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, Crunch, Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel, and Dead on Town Line, a young adult novel in verse. She lives with her family in Connecticut.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Michael Crouch's voice suggests the unspoiled innocence of 11-year-old Perry, who has been raised in a coed correctional facility where his mother is incarcerated. Perry's enthusiasm for small pleasures expresses an appreciation born of his sheltered background. Crouch voices Perry's simple thoughts and comments, which reveal the rich perspective and wisdom he has derived from his nurturing mother and the male inmates who have raised him. The irony is painful when a district attorney decides to rescue Perry from his prison home. Crouch clearly conveys the D.A.'s ruthlessness. Kathleen McInerney, Perry's loving mother, burns with fury for the man and the legalities that separate her from her son. She fiercely hides the past as Perry determines to discover the truth. This poignant story inspires questions about truth, justice, family, and home. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 7, 2016
    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.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 15, 2015
    Positive thinking proves powerful for Perry Cook and his incarcerated mother. The Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska, is the only home the sixth-grader has ever known. His official foster parent, the warden of the minimum security facility, has let him stay with his birth mother there for nearly 12 years. When an ambitious district attorney yanks him out and delays Jessica Cook's parole application, Perry has to use his jail-honed skill of focusing on the positive to cope with his new foster placement with the DA's family and to get his mother released. This portrayal of prison life from the inside and from a child's point of view doesn't ignore unhappy realities, but it highlights the good: Jessica's social work, the support of their prison "family," and the love the prisoners have for their "mouse in the house." Similarly, while some have his back at school, including his best friend, Zoey--who's also the DA's stepdaughter--bullies are there, too. Related in short, episodic chapters, the narrative spans the eight weeks Perry spends at the DA's, concentrating in the first person on his experience but occasionally interrupting to look in on Jessica in the third person. Readers even learn some other prisoners' stories. 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. (Fiction. 9-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2015

    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

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
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Leslie Connor
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