All the Right Stuff
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All the Right Stuff

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  77 reviews
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 fin...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Amistad
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Shannon Grieshaber
It's Walter Dean Myers so you know it's quick, well written, and centers on minority characters. These are all excellent things. And the minority character in All the Right Stuff is a good kid who makes good choices. I love that. So often when minority characters are featured, the opposite is true.

Paul DuPree gets lucky this summer because he is one of four teens chosen for a work program. His job is to work alongside Elijah at Elijah's soup kitchen. Elijah is a wise old man who uses his soup ki...more
Ms. Yingling
Paul is very lucky to get one of four public service jobs available through his school in Baltimore. He will be working at a soup kitchen for senior citizens, which is run by the 84-year-old Elijah. Paul is struggling because his mostly absent father, who has had problems with substance abuse, has been shot in a store robbery gone wrong. Luckily, his single mother is hardworking and holds him to very high standards. Elijah teaches Paul not only about soup but about the "social contract" and how...more
Melissa
****PLEASE NOTE THAT I WON THIS FROM GOODREADS FIRST READS****

This was originally posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings on 7/16/2012: http://midnight-orchids.blogspot.com/...

This was a really well written book. Being that I have my BA in Sociology, this was right up my alley.I could really relate to the story in it's entirety. Not just with the characters, but with the themes and lessons as well. The book is all about Paul Dupree's struggle with coming to terms with what social contract theory is...more
Gina
Walter Dean Myers has a gift for pulling in his readers and "teaching" them great moral lessons without forcing a message down their throats. One of my favorite short stories, The Treasure of Lemon Brown, was written by Myers as well so I was really excited to have this opportunity to win his new book! It did not disappoint- the story is about a teenage male growing up in Harlem, who gets the opportunity to work in a soup kitchen for the summer. He meets Elijah and together they have what I call...more
Robyn Young
I love Walter Dean Myers, but I fear that this will read as too preachy for the boys that love to read his books. Paul is a teenage boy who gets a job with Elijah at a soup kitchen in Harlem. Elijah shares his ideas on a social contract with Paul and it makes Paul think about how that affects him and the world in which he lives. However, the feeling when reading it is more that the author is trying to impart his wisdom (which is wise and thought-provoking), but I'm just not sure that it will rea...more
Alicia
Not the best Myers book by a long shot. This short book is packed with the philosophical banter between Paul and Elijah, an older man running a soup kitchen he calls Elijah's Soup Emporium. Elijah begins right away laying it on thick with life lessons, using the social contract as a way to get Paul to think. Meanwhile, Paul also must mentor a young black teen with a baby to improve her basketball to hopefully get ahead.

There wasn't much to latch on to and I skipped through most of the middle, f...more
Justdex_
Paul DuPree has landed a summer job working at a soup kitchen in Harlem. Owned and operated by Elijah Jones, a philosophical elderly man who wants to give back to others. Paul and his mother live alone, and Paul continues to try to make sense of his father's life and death. While teaching Paul how to prepare different soups, Elijah introduces him to the concept of the social contract by which he lives his life. As Paul ponders these new ideas. He encounters others, including a Harlem entrepreneu...more
Angie
Paul DuPree has landed a summer job working at Elijah's Soup Emporium, a soup kitchen for the elderly run by Elijah,who uses the Socratic method to get Paul thinking about social issues and to teach him about the Social Contract.
Joshua
Slow ponderous read with a message that is deeper than the audience might think they would be. this would be an interesting book to read with a 8th or 9th grade class... too didactic I think for simple pleasure reading.
Laura
I loved the characters' voices in this book. The story was engaging and the protagonist quite likable. And honestly, the book made me interested in that combination of political science and philosophy that I don't generally find interesting, which is quite an accomplishment.

The only thing that didn't quite ring true was the likelihood that the main character, Paul, would encounter two older men both wanting to converse with him about the social contract and what it means to them. I could believe...more
Josiah
"Hard work by itself isn't worth two cents on a rainy day if it doesn't give you a good life."

—Elijah Jones, All the Right Stuff, P. 103

I don't know if anyone but Walter Dean Myers would be capable of pulling off a book like this one. In the year 2012, when All the Right Stuff debuted in the marketplace, the field of young-adult literature was all about immediacy and action, even in stories without much suspense or adventure. If the events of the narrative weren't designed to generate tensio...more
Barbara
This was a really good, fast, easy teen read about the summer young Paul DuPree loses the father he never really knew. He spends the summer working two jobs. In a soup kitchen where he meet adults who make him think, and being a mentor to a teen-aged mother who needs to learn to think herself.

This is not a romance. It's not about Paul getting together with the hot girl but about Paul coming to grips with his feelings about life and his dead father.

In the beginning Paul stares at his father's c...more
Sandy
Paul got lucky this summer and got one of the four community jobs that were paying and as luck would have it, he could walk to work so things were looking up. But what was that? His father wasn’t so lucky. He was shot, on accident and Paul has mixed feeling about this since his father really hadn’t been a father in Paul’s eyes. Divorced from his mother, Paul’s father had been living off the streets, Paul can’t figure out his father and now that he was permanently out of his life, he “just felt k...more
Abi
When the phenomenal Walter Dean Myers's book All the Right Stuff arrived in my mailbox, I had no idea I was about to be schooled in the philosophical idea of the social contract.

I'm used to Myers's thoughtful but action-packed stories - this one was a beautifully, humanely written contemplation of the systems that can help us or hurt as as we go through life, and the messy combination of injustice and opportunity we all face to varying degrees.

I don't dig philosophical writing, generally. I've...more
Michael Jenkins
Paul Dupree has recently lost his father but is not grieving. As far as he was concerned, he was not there for him in the begining, his death does not move him one bit. Although his mother is sad about his death, his father absence does not make a difference. When he gets a job working in a soup kitchen, he meets an eldery man Elijah that tells him about the 'social contract' and tries to instill life lessons to him. Although Paul is hesitant to agree with what he has to say about life,disciplin...more
Once Upon
Walter Dean Myers is a renowned young adult author, who is known for his emotional and powerful novels that truly showcase the inner turmoil of a character. With books like Monster and Falling Angels, Myers really showed his writing power through his expression of words through the pages of many of his other books. With this in mind, I am truly a little surprised with this new book, All The Right Stuff. A very thought provoking, intellectual piece of writing, however it exhibited very little in...more
Barbara
Paul DuPree has landed a summer job working at a soup kitchen in Harlem. Owned and operated by Elijah Jones, a philosophical elderly man who wants to give back to others. Paul and his mother live alone, and Paul continues to try to make sense of his father's life and death. While teaching Paul how to prepare different soups, Elijah introduces him to the concept of the social contract by which he lives his life. As Paul ponders these new ideas, he encounters others, including a Harlem entrepreneu...more
Angie Kregg
I received this book through the Firstreads program.

Having read some of Walter Dean Myers' work before, and having had the chance to meet him and speak with him, I knew I could expect certain things from this novel. I knew that the main character would be in a less than ideal environment, and that each of his works was meant to convey a significant message to the reader.

However, I certainly did not expect how much of an impact this book made on the way I look at our society that we live in. In t...more
Warren Shanks
I won my copy through Goodreads First Reads.

This is a quick read that will hopefully inspire you to push yourself in future endeavors. In the book, Paul lands a job in a soup kitchen working for Elijah. Through Paul’s discussions with Elijah we are introduced to philosophy of the “social contract.” With his new understanding Paul looks at how the social contract is affecting the people in his life and whether he believes it is better to live within or without these rules.

Elijah is awesome. I l...more
Travis Fortney
This is a kindhearted, well written, and rather short and easy YA book about a young inner city black man who gets a summer job at a soup kitchen, where an older man teaches him about the social contract.

I wanted to like this book more than I did, because I do think these issues need to be discussed. The two biggest issues for young people in the city are without a doubt gun violence and the public schools, and Myers does write about these issues (the protagonist's dad was shot and killed just...more
Kevin
It's a Socratic dialogue about the social contract, the unwritten rules that determine our behavior, wrapped around the barest of plots. I'm not a big fan of philosophy and I love a good plot, so this one didn't do it for me. In some ways it reminds me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, with the philosophic conversation broken up by manual labor (in this case, preparing soup). But I want a story that actually tells a story.
Jeffrey
I loved this book - I read it because I wanted to read something by Myers in the light of his death last week and this book was mesmerizing - a book about race, class, injustice, social responsibility, love, community, caring - all packed into a poignant story about a local soup kitchen in Harlem that provides seniors with a daily bowl of goodness and the teenager who, in working there over a summer, discovers what being socially responsible means!
Viktoriya Tsoy
This was the first time I read anything from Myers and even thought it seemed like an easy, quick read, it took me a good time to think about all that was being said. Besides a nice little story this book teaches us a bit of history, sociology, and philosophy. It's a great read for young adults, and for adults likewise. I especially loved the interpretation of the social contract in the form of a race between us all.
April
The thing that I love best about reading a book by Walter Dean Myers is that I get a different story every time. While I may not always love that story or find it to be the best ever, I like that Myers is not a one note author. All The Right Stuff is no different, it was a story I had not read before. There is no romance. There’s not exactly a gang. The main character, Paul isn’t exactly having a huge dilemma. Rather, All The Right Stuff is an examination of the social contract, you know stuff y...more
Beth Dailey Kenneth
Very slow, philosphical book that goes into great detail about the social contract and names the philosophers that wrote about it.

MULTI-CULTURAL: African Americans, Homeless, Drug users and sellers, Senior Citizens, Teen Mothers

Primarily filled with conversations between Paul, a 16 year, and Eijah, owner of the Soup Emporium that feeds local Sr. Citizens for free. Sly, the local drug dealer/big man on the street, also talks with Paul about it. Elijah and Sly see the social contract from two diff...more
Elizabeth
Ok, I might not be the target audience for this book, but I have read many YA novels I still connected with while this one felt like it was hitting me over the head with its message. I listened to the audio while at work. Afterwords I felt like if the term 'social contract' was said one more time I was going to barf. Also, the summary on the back made a budding friendship with a girl seem like a large part of the story, but I didn't find that to be the case at all. I appreciate what the book was...more
Kate
Paul Dupree's summer internship at a "Soup Emporium" gives him more than the resume boost he intended. The owner Elijah introduces him to the concept of the social contract, and their discussions change the way Paul views his world, his interactions with friends, and his memory of his father.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Goodreads' First Reads program. I had been looking forward to reading something from Walter Dean Myers for a long time, but life got in the way and this...more
Margaret
The book is based on the social contract. Excellent discussion points for teen readers: acceptance, self-medication, ambition, and learning that life is a race. The importance of making conscious choices is the best lesson to take from this book.
Allison L
All The Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers is a really well written book that discusses the idea of the social contract and the implications that it has on different parts of society. For me, this was right up my alleyway as someone with a background in both psychology and women’s studies. All the themes and lessons really resonated with me which made the book truly enjoyable. It was a refreshing read that didn’t include any drama or romance but instead chose to focus on the growth and development...more
Scott Wright
I've never read anything by this author. I found it to be interesting. I didn't actually know anything about the "Social Contract." I'm a grown man though. I don't see any of my boys grabbing this book to read and enjoying it at all.
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pseudonyms:
Stacie Williams
Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi...more
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“Hard work by itself isn't worth two cents on a rainy day if it doesn't give you a good life.” 4 likes
“Life is going to be harder for some people. It's going to be harder at different times in our lives. But if you're not ready to die today, then you're going to be responsible for tomorrow, whether you like it or not.” 4 likes
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