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All the Right Stuff

2.89  ·  Rating Details ·  376 Ratings  ·  113 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
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
Oct 16, 2015 Anna rated it it was ok
More of a dialogue than a novel. Not a lot of plot and kinda boring

This was originally posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings on 7/16/2012:

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
Ms. Yingling
Jun 19, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
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
Apr 15, 2015 Jdrysdaleanderson4 rated it liked it
After Paul's dad had died recently Paul started working for a kitchen to earn extra money. Elijah the Chef in the kitchen keeps talking to Paul about the social contract. Paul didn't care about anything Elijah said he just wanted to get money so he could provide for his family. But the kitchen was not going to give him all the money he needs. So he starts mentoring this girl called Keisha. Him and Keisha become good friends and help each other in times of needs because both of them live in a dan ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Gina rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Jun 14, 2013 Robyn Young rated it it was ok
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
Jun 29, 2012 Alicia rated it did not like it
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
Josh Newhouse
Feb 22, 2014 Josh Newhouse rated it liked it
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.
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.
Mar 30, 2013 Josiah rated it liked it
"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
Oct 29, 2015 Azi rated it did not like it
This book was boring af.
Oct 16, 2015 Hannah rated it it was ok
Mostly a text book about the social contract put into novel form
Zac P.
Nov 14, 2014 Zac P. added it
Zac Pungitore
Mr. Menard
English period 5
14 November 2014
Goodreads Assignment
In the novel “All the Right Stuff” by Walter Dean Myers, a young man Paul DuPree was born and raised in the streets of Harlem. He lives an extremely tough life because his mom and dad separated when he was at a young age and he just got news that his father was shot during a robbery. After this Paul gets a job at Elijah’s soup emporium. Elijah teaches Paul throughout the story about this social contract that everybody sh
Jan 24, 2014 Justdex_ rated it really liked it
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
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
Once Upon a Twilight
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
Aug 18, 2012 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: library, ya
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
Jul 03, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
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
Travis Fortney
Jun 02, 2012 Travis Fortney rated it liked it
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
Angie Kregg
Sep 10, 2012 Angie Kregg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
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
Nov 20, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2015 Anna rated it liked it
All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers is part inner city life, part philosophy primer, and part coming of age story. After the death of Paul DuPree's father, Paul is left wondering about the fairness of life. He sees the other guys around him in the neighborhood and wonders who has the right idea. Should he get in with one of the gangs, try to move forward and get a job, or keep his nose clean and stay in school? He applys for a summer job and out of the fifty applicants is chosen to work wit ...more
Warren Shanks
May 08, 2012 Warren Shanks rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Jun 09, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
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
Jonathan Maduike
Nov 28, 2015 Jonathan Maduike rated it it was amazing
The book, All the Right Stuff, written by well acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers, follows the main protagonist Paul DuPree, who works at a Harlem soup factory. Paul’s been trying to get by the death of his drug-addict father while mentoring a teen female basketball prodigy, and maintain his job at the factory where he meets Elijah Jones who educates him about the political theory of the social contract. This book is very deep and thought provoking. It’s quite more sophisticated than your averag ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Shelves: listened-to, ya
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
Sep 28, 2012 April rated it really liked it
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
Sep 01, 2012 Beth Dailey Kenneth rated it liked it
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
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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 about Walter Dean Myers...

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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.” 7 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.” 7 likes
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