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All of the Above

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  690 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Weaving together the different personal stories of the kids, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, award-winning author Shelley Pearsall has written a vividly engaging story about the math, lif ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 6th 2006)
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This book was something you can pick up and set down 3 days later! The characters were so realistic and interesting that it just pulls you in. A truly unusually great story is hard to pass by, so pick up this book and get comfortable!
YES (but not for grades 4-6) for black-eyed susan.
NO for our school library.

While this book was fantastic, I don't think it's a good fit for students in grades 4-6. Some of the issues it deals with would be lost in their lack of understanding while others are just not appropriate for their age level (though I realize this opinion can be challenged).

All of the Above retells an historic record set by the students of Alexander Hamilton School, an urban middle school in Cleveland Ohio. A math teache
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Regina Araiza
This book is about a teacher and a group of the students trying to break a wold record of making the biggest pyramid of tetrahedron out of paper. I think this a really good book because I like book that show each of the character's point of view and their inner thoughts. What I have enjoyed about the book, are the characters and their personal struggles. People interested in comedy and witty stories should read this book. Its main purpose is seeing each of their characters overcome their conflic ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are looking for a quick read
"...You'll finally come to a dead end. That's where our school sits. We know there's a lot of people out there who think our school is a dead end. And that all the kids inside it are dead ends, too... But they've got it all wrong... Just you wait and see..."

All of the Above was an inspirational story about 4 inner-city students and their teacher who dream of making the world's largest tetrahedron. Although there were parts of this book that were boring and almost annoying, altogether this book w
This book drew us in so quickly and firmly that it has been difficult to fit in church, school, and other activities the past couple of days. We read this passage several times: "Although the large tetrahedron appears strong and stable, it should be noted that its pieces are joined together only at the smallest of points. The edges and faces remain largely separate and unconnected." Davy even wanted the recipes read aloud and we plan to try Singing the Blues Barbecue Sauce next time we make croc ...more
This was a really touching story, about 4 or 5 of the kids who work on building the world's largest (7-level) tetrahedon, a specific type of pyramid.

These kids are inner city, not expected to go anywhere in life.

There is James, who is only interested in art, and nothing else. He first gets involved because he has earned a detention the first day the club meets after school.Mr. Collins gives him the choice of participating in the math club to earn a "D", or keeping the "F" grade he has now.
He is
Just posted this review on my blog - check out this and many more young adult book reviews and recommendations there.


Rating : 4.3 out of 5 stars

Age recommended : 7 and up

All of the Above is a great story about people who overcome their differences and come together to make an impact on the world. I think Shelly Pearsall has captured the idea of how everybody can make a difference, young or old. I mean, if you are old already, :) you've probably done your share but
I was surprised by how much I liked this. I'm used to YA novels about struggling characters containing sappy and contrived dialogue, but this story flowed naturally. The author was obviously trying to show the characters in an inspirational light, but their changes seemed plausible.
I really liked the book. They were all building a Tetrahedron to beat the world record , until...... sharcie left the door open. James brother friends camed and detroyed it. Sharcie blamed it on herself, but she did not mean to leave the door open , she had to find somewhere to go at nightime, her foster parents #5 never home at night. Towards the end they rebuiled it and beat the worl record.
Aaron Gibson
I have now read this book a second time and enjoyed it even more than the first. Like so many good movies, when watched for a second time, the themes and devices become obvious, and perhaps a deeper appreciation is gained. This book is probably best suited for middle-school students or as a remedial high-school text. Pearsall's writing is very accessible. The change in characters with each chapter allows the reader (especially a young reader) to gain insight into other perspectives. She is also ...more
This book is about math...and so much more. I hate math. I loved this book. Go figure!
Richie Partington
22 August 2006 ALL OF THE ABOVE by Shelley Pearsall, Little Brown, September 2006, ISBN: 0-316-11524-X

"As we get closer to finishing, I start having dreams about what's gonna happen when we do. In most of my dreams, there is this big flash of light when we finish the tetrahedron and our school isn't a crumbling, peeling-paint building anymore. It's rainbow colored. (I know this sounds kinda weird.) And our giant pyramid sits on top of the school roof shooting out colors all over the neig
I have recently become a HUGE fan of this author. She writes everything from amazing historical fiction to contemporary fiction, to stories based on current, real-life events. I first became aware of her when her book ALL OF THE ABOVE showed up on the Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee list for 2010-11 in Division II (5th -7th grade).

If you are a middle school or young adult reader, or you know one, these books are excellent. ALL OF THE ABOVE is based on the true story of a middle school class in
Lisa Nocita
All of the above chronicles the story of a group of inner city middle school students whose math teacher challenges them to build the world's largest tetrahedron. The author weaves in the personal narratives of the students' lives. The characters each take turns advancing the story. There is heartache, sadness, and joy as the project begins to take shape, suffers setbacks, and, ultimately, success. Although the story is fictional, it is based on the true story of a group of students from Alexand ...more
This was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed it. It's a good short read that can generally be finished after a few hours of reading (it took me two days). I would recommend this book to anyone, especially if they have at least some interest in mathematics.
Sep 28, 2013 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 11 and up
I think this book will appeal to older elementary and middle school readers. The use of the voices of the different characters in each chapter worked here -- It was easy to follow, and they felt like individuals, and like kids I know. It felt very unsettled when one of them had to leave the project (he moved away), but that is also what happens in life, in public school. I am especially appreciative that the teacher, Mr. Collins, is a regular guy, just a teacher who wants his students to be succ ...more
Based on a true story set in a Cleveland middle school, students work together to build the largest tetrahedron. Narrated by the different students, each chapter gives you a glimpse of another student's life.
Ms. K-M
A lot of people think that Washington Middle School is a dead end, and that all the kids in it are dead ends too. But when Mr. Collins proposes that they try and build the world's largest tetrahedron four students latch onto the idea, each for reasons of their own. James is an artist, Marcel is looking for an outlet besides working at his dad's barbecue, Sharice needs somewhere to be until her foster mom arrives home, and Rhondell has been told that her only dream--to go to college--is unattaina ...more
Devon Groppe
It was a great book but the first half was very slow. I would not have picked this up on my own (my teacher read it as a read allowed).
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie meet a tetrahedron. Great read aloud for the math classroom. I like the multicultural background with 7th grade math, makes for interesting interactions between students who don't really like school.
Jennifer Havrila
Quick and easy read for middle school students but can be taken to a deeper level as the characters lives are very well developed.
I read this in 6th grade.
I thought it was enjoyable overall, but it was a little hard to get into.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Shannon Alexander
4.5 stars
The diverse voices were superb, the plot moved quickly, and the depth of emotion was spot-on. Great middle grade read.
I read this because I am thinking about using it for a literature circle with a group of higher level sixth graders.
This is a good read for math teachers. The book gets you thinking about what projects your class might be interested in doing together.
This Book is about an After School progam for students who didnt do as well in school. so the teacher came up with an idea about setting the world record for tetrahedron. But they have some problems while making this project. they get half way done, but someone broke in to the school and broke the project. when they found out they was highly disappointed, but they had potentonal to do it again. but the two leaders end of leaving and not helping. They pass the world record and makes it in the boo ...more
Inner city teaching deserves respect because it is hard, and it's hard partially because the life of the children who are coming to school can also be very hard. What I love about this book is the way that no one saves anyone (except in one very moving case), but for reasons personal to each character, they mature and change themselves. It's a book not about miracle solutions or easy ways out - it's about the mystery of the small opportunities and decisions in our life that create a personality ...more
Alexandra Trudo
So glad I read this book!
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I grew up in a blue-collar suburb of Cleveland called Parma where I used to write stories in a bedroom closet (aka my writer’s office). I tried to get my first novel – a 40 page handwritten story called “I am the Only One Left” - published when I was thirteen. As you can probably guess, it was rejected!

It took about twenty years before I finally had my first published book, Trouble Don’t Last (Kno
More about Shelley Pearsall...
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