All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Book - 2016 | First edition
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"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?" -- provided by
Publisher: New York, New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062333469
Branch Call Number: j Fiction Con
Characteristics: 378 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 29, 2019

I really enjoyed Leslie Conner’s All Rise for Honorable Perry T. Cook. I recommend it to middle schoolers and their parents. It is a tale of a fictional family. The mom is prisoner in a minimal security prison - the Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility - and it is time for her to be up for parole. Her eleven year old son, Perry, live at Blue River, too. NOT as prisoner, instead, as a foster child of the warden and his bedroom is just off the warden’s office in the prison.

Conner’s writing engages readers. She presents developed characters, multiple issues, intrigue and family issues. She gives readers a lot to think about. And discuss. Thus, this could be a good book for both a child and parent to read and then talk about.

There are many possible conversations to be had around: how different families can be, having a best friend, finding your own path, relating to many different adults, secrets, and so much more.

One reality of this book is that is has a ‘tight ending’. The story is complete fiction. It is not, even in part based on any real family. Thus, the author can introduce many elements and my guess is, that since she is writing for a middle school audience and touching on several topics - a tight ending makes good since. I didn’t find it to be a weakness. Even though, in real life a complex story like this would likely be anything but “tight”.

I give it five stars!

Aug 13, 2019

The writer is good at creating the suspension, which makes me keep reading and trying to figure out the answer. I was weeping in the last scene of court, very nice and warm story.

LPL_LaurenT Apr 21, 2017

I can count on one hand the number of books that have made me cry, and the happy tears you’ll be shedding at the end of Perry’s story will be completely warranted. Perry and his mom have always been together, which is normal for a mother and son, but their circumstances are anything but. Perry grew up in a correctional facility: he goes to school, eats in the mess hall, and he enjoys rec time with his mother and the other inmates. When a new District Attorney gets wind of Perry’s situation, living like a prisoner, Perry is forced into a foster home and public school. Determined to get back to his mom and the life he knows, Perry researches her crime and uncovers long-buried truths about life and love.

Jan 27, 2017

** spoiler alert ** A very sweet and uplifting story about how we define "home" and "family." Perry is an exceptionally likeable kid, and the charming cast of characters around him make for a thoroughly pleasant read. The stigma associated with being connected to incarceration is touched on, but sugar-coated a bit. Perry's growth, as he learns to navigate the world outside prison walls without the guidance of his mother and other adults who've raised him, feels authentic, and it is refreshing to read about people in prison who are still portrayed as loving fathers, grandmothers, etc. Connor makes it clear that even adults make mistakes, and a while a few bad decisions can lead to consequences, that does not make a person a monster.

At the same time, it's a bit of a stretch to have so many of the inmates portrayed as either victims of circumstance or entirely accepting of their fate or fully regretful and accepting responsibility. And it weakens the effort to depict inmates as human beings when one of the key players is actually entirely innocent. The villain is relatively complex, but his motivations, for persecuting Perry and his mother, and for his sudden turn around in the end, never quite ring true.

Still, it's a very pleasant read, and the happy ending will satisfy readers invested in Perry's story. Recommended for middle graders looking for a gentle story with an uplifting message of redemption.

Dec 30, 2016

 A long read but a story not told often. I agree with the above comments that this an exceptional book. Since everyone has pretty much said already how I feel about it I will just mention a few things.

I don't feel any of this was unrealistic. I think it portrayed prison life in a way where you could understand Perry's desire to be with his mom yet also  understand no one wants to stay there. In the US there a stigma with prison. When, in fact, minimum security prisoners know the basic rules and it does becomes a community. I love how it humanized everyone. Yes, people who go to prison are bad but really many are there for making bad decisions. And isn't that a solid lesson to teach children? That the choices they make now can have results lasting for a long time. Prisons have become a business in a very scary way. This book easily could have been the champion for prisons but instead it really focused on the personal stories going on.

Even though at 400 pages this book was super long, it not only grabbed my attention but I also began to care for them. The one girl said it's difficult to judge someone once you know their story. I think this is a story that should be told and that many students will be curious about.

LibrarianDest Jun 22, 2016

I've talked to a lot of kids about this book. They are super interested to find out why a kid would live in a prison. And even more curious to find out why he LIKES it and is upset when he moves into a normal house.

vpl_childrens May 19, 2016

Perry has been in jail for 11 years (he was born there). When he is discovered, he is removed from his mother, the warden, and his extended “family” of prisoners. Conner, the author of the award-winning Waiting for Normal, gives us another exceptional story: heart-warming, informative, and rich in human interest.


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Jan 27, 2017

chelseasc thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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