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All the Right Stuff

2.96  ·  Rating details ·  446 ratings  ·  131 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 fi
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Amistad
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2.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  446 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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Joyce Yattoni
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a "heavy" novel. It makes you think about all the things that are not quite right in America. The story takes place in Harlem, New York. Teen Paul Dupree lands a summer job working at a soup kitchen for the elderly man Elijah. During the summer Paul and Elijah discuss the "social contract" people choose or not choose to live by, thereby enduring the consequences of their actions or the consequences inflicted on them by other people or the government.

The story has its roots in the philos
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 rated it it was ok
More of a dialogue than a novel. Not a lot of plot and kinda boring
Oct 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was boring af.
Michael Cobuzzi
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I did not like this novel too much. Although I did not love it I think the message of this book was interesting. It teaches teens about the idea of a Social Contract. Paul Dupree, the main character in the book is working for an old man named Elijah at a soup kitchen. Elijah introduces Paul to the Social Contract. Throughout the book Paul tries to see what factors make you move up and down the social ladder. He is seeing the side of Elijah and also the side of a gangster named Sly who sees thing ...more
Billy Newman
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book gives you a perfect look at life in poverty. I loved this book. It was a soft humble fun book to read. Paul Dupree is a 16-year-old boy in high school who agrees to help out and the local soup emporium in his neighborhood. During all of that, he gets caught up in helping Keisha, a girl who is a year older than him who has a desire to play in the WNBA but doesn't have any confidence. HE sets up a net and has her shoot and she does good. Paul is met with all he needs about lifefrom the s ...more
Jayce Lehmann
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book, it really makes you think about what some people go through in their life and how awfull people treat others that dont have much going for them. Most characters in the book have some soft of problem in their life and have a goal to fix it. The book can really touch peoples hearts and get really in your head.
Melissa T

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 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 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
Mar 29, 2012 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 12, 2013 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 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
Jun 20, 2012 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.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Mostly a text book about the social contract put into novel form
Mar 17, 2013 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
Lexie Banks
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok

Lexie Banks

Coach Riggs

English II

09 March 2018

All The Wrong Stuff

Have you ever read a book, got to the end and realized that you didn’t remember anything about the story because it was so boring? In All The Right Stuff, Paul shares his experience working a summer job at a soup kitchen where he meets someone that changes his outlook on life. Everyone should not read All The Right Stuff because it lacks plot and the characters aren't interesting.

In All The Right Stuff, Paul begins a summer job at
Kevin Chen
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
--Spoiler Alert--

In All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers, the main character, Paul Dupree, describes his summer life. During a reading project last year numerous friends of mine recommended that I should read this book for the project but instead I read another book. Since I got the opportunity again, I read it this time. It was a short but humble and fun book to read. The book describes life in poverty from Paul’s point of view.

Paul is a sixteen-year-old boy in high school who is about to
Katie N
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Paul gets a job in a soup kitchen the same summer his father dies in a store robbery gone wrong. Elijah, the owner of the Soup Emporium, begins a conversation about the social contract and the different roles people play in their communities. Paul begins getting different people's opinions on the social contract, from Keisha, the teen mother who is looking to use her basketball skills to get out of Harlem, to Sly, the notorious Harlem big shot. Everyone Paul meets has their own opinions of the s ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I taught this book, and I suspect that it WDM wrote it with the intention of it being taught to late middle/early high school students. It is as easy a read as it can be with Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls being bandied about by the main characters. If I teach this book again, I will teach it as an introduction to our civics unit for ELA I. I don't think it worked as a hook book for getting my students into reading. A few have really cleaved to the ideas put forward and the way that they are ...more
Michael Thao
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a book about a change in life and having to deal with consequences. This book shows what it is like to deal with things that you want to do, and things that you need to do. It gives away an adventure of how a character can change their way of living and way of thinking by just a couple outcomes. If you want to read a book about inspiration and changing or controlling bad situations, this is the book.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I like the way the character develops, but it was a slow read for me because I was trying to understand the Social Contract. I think many students would put it down because it seems too textbook-like wit all its description of the social contract every other page.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I read this book for my job; it's not one I would pick up on my own. Still, it's an easy, relatively enjoyable read. The writing style is simple and there's not much nuance but it does make for a book that's easy to discuss with teenagers.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was boring. I didn’t feel very connected to the characters. The dialogue did not keep me engaged. I think the social contract portion was discussed too heavily. I can’t think of a single person who’d like this book. I frowned the whole time
Jen Lowry
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book! The way that the "social contract" is explained and develops over the course of the novel is a brilliant way to spark discussions with youth. This would be a great novel study for not only literature courses, but history courses as well.
Fiona Ackroyd
This was a good book but it was a little repetitive for me, but was surprisingly fast paced.
Mariam B
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was forced to read this book twice- nothing really substantial about this book even though it tries to sprinkle in profound life lessons through colloquial dialogue between characters.
Zac P.
Nov 14, 2014 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 17, 2014 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
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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
“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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