This is a series that involves spotlighting wonderful Children's literature in both publishing worlds. This is a once or twice a month feature. Feel free to check out the series here. Below is a running list of each post in this series.
This was an intense book. This is such a good book. This is an emotional book. I really don't even know what to think about this book. This is an astonishing book about love, forgiveness, and innocence. I really didn't expect such a deep story from a middle-grade novel. This is a novel that will make you laugh, smile, cry, and jump for joy. It is a roller coaster of emotion. It is a book you will not soon forget.
This is the story of the sweet boy named Perry T. Cook, who is being raised by his mom at a correctional facility, named Blue Review Co-ed Correctional Facility, in the city of Suprise, Nebraska. The Cellblock C is really used to him being there. I really find this to being an interesting viewpoint, and a refreshing idea. This novel deals with real life issues, and tough ones at that.
This is until the new district attorney found out and Perry is forced to leave the only place he knows, and go into a foster home. This causes major problems for Perry. He feels trapped and completely betrayed. He decides to go on a quest for the truth, for answers, for some truth. He wants to find out what his mother did to get inside the prison. What he finds out will teach him more than he ever could have imagined about life and love.
My only real criticism of this book is the fairytale view of prison in this book. There are no real life issues that prisons have in this book. I know it's a middle-grade novel but there are no mean guards, no mean or abusive prisoners, no drama what so ever. I just think the author made Perry and his mother's life a little too perfect for having spent many years in prison.
I believe that some middle-grade readers will be put off by the length of this book. It is about 400 pages, and that is alot for this genre typically. I really think it is worth it, if your child can stick with it. I also think there might be some confusion as to the point of view. It shifts from first person of Perry to the perspective of the mother.
This story ends far too abruptly, which is strange for a novel that is over 400 pages, maybe I am just being greedy because I wanted more out of this story. I felt like there were just a few loose ends that were never explained. Maybe the author left room for a sequel?
Overall this is one of the best middle-grade novels I have never read.
Links for purchase: Amazon // Barnes and Noble // Abe Books // Book Depository // Better World Books // Indigo
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?
A Little Bit About The Author:
From the author's website:
My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I’ve been in a hurry ever since.
When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the finest printing papers in all the land. He often brought home big, beautiful, heavy books that pinned me to my chair when I held them in my lap, and I loved to turn the pages, look at the photography and illustrations and smell the ink.
As a kid I took dancing lessons and did gymnastics. I could be found upside-down in odd places like the middle of the stairway, not that I recommend it! My bedroom was a messy nest full of paint sets and paper scraps, embroidery threads and sewing projects. In school I was good at some things and not at all good at others. Still, I found my passions. I went to college, first at SUNY, Cobleskill, where I received an associate’s degree in agriculture, and later at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Ct. where I earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art.
At first, I was interested in children’s books from an illustrator’s point of view. But the writing part surprised me ~ came up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. I realized that my head and heart were very full of stories and that I should pay attention! My ideas come from everyday life, and I write for readers of all ages.
I live in the Connecticut woods with my husband and three children. (Well, the kids are getting big and they all drive cars now so they come and go a lot these days.) We keep our bird feeders full, do a little gardening and stack a lot of firewood. I hike the trails near my home almost every morning. Then I make a pot of tea and get to work. Usually, my loyal Writing Dogs are right by my side. (Sometimes I even borrow dogs from my neighbors. You can’t have enough dogs.)
I love making artisan pizzas and pots of soup and my favorite treat is dark chocolate. I also love to ride my bike down to the diner to meet my friends for breakfast and more tea. (Hmm...that’s a lot of eating, isn’t it?)
Life is fine!
Check out her website: here