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All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  6,000 ratings  ·  1,023 reviews
Junior Library Guild Selection * Kids’ Indie Next List Pick

From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me.

Eleven-year-old Perry was bor
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Nobies57 Yes, Kenzie, you should definitely read this one. And then you should read From the Desk of Zoe Washington and then Greetings from Witness Protection.

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  6,000 ratings  ·  1,023 reviews

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Emily Andrus
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Now this is what I like to see in a middle grade novel. Yes, there are tough issues and real world problems, but that doesn't mean it has to be depressing! Perry sees a lot of injustice, both in the formal legal sense and in his personal relationships. He gets angry, he gets sad. But he also fights, has hope, and builds off of the support he gets from some amazing friends (I love the characters in this book--the variety and strength in each is awesome.) The writing is excellent with s ...more
Short  Reviews
3 stars. I docked off 2 stars because the ending was a bit too abrupt for my liking... also, there was one particular loose end in the story that wasn't tied up in the end, but I'll get to that later.

'I want to have one more look at that map of the middle school before lockdown,' Mom says. She glances at the gray clock on the wall, and so do I. We have to pay attention to the time at Blue River. At nine p.m. I have to be in my bedroom next to the warden's office off the Upper East Lounge.

Mom ha
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extra character development, more showing and less telling, make this message-driven book both longer and richer, and more engaging, than most earnest MG fare. And what a concept! I could say lots more, but I'd rather you find the time to read it for yourself.

Btw, I do know someone who recently served time, and most of what is related here does seem plausible according to what my friend has told me.

And I never knew about making a 'worm' from the paper off a disposable straw before; I'll have to
Joyce Yattoni
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At first I was like nah.....not going to like this novel, it is too unrealistic. There is no way a child would be allowed to be raised in a minimum security prison. But, as the story developed, the author raised so many important issues and relationships that my original thinking was overtaken. I ❤️ the protagonist Perry, who despite being bullied, handles himself with grace and pride. His bully is Brian Morris who grows out of being a bully. The author shows this by allowing Brian to take time ...more
Holly Mueller
We chose this book as our third staff book club book. What a special story! I loved so many characters - Perry, his mother, the warden, Big Ed, Mrs. Samuels, Zoey, Miss Maya, and even Brian. Connor explores home and family through a correctional facility where Perry has been allowed to grow up as close to his mother as possible, fostered by Warden Daugherty. This story also explores what it means to pay for one's mistakes, forgiveness, and redemption. The ending was a tear-jerker! I want to pass ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Ginnie
A really heartwarming, well-developed story about a boy raised with his Mom in prison. Very cute and yet it never downplays real emotions. It also never gets too intense for middle school readers which I liked. (It very easily might have) A really solid read! Thank you, Ginnie!
Ms. Yingling
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wndb
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Perry and his mother, Jessica, have a routine worked out at their home in the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility, where Perry has lived since his birth. Perry gets to do the morning wake up call on the intercom, have breakfast with his many friends, and then is driven to school by the warden's niece, who teaches at his new middle school. His good friend Zoey Samuels is there, and while there are a few boys who give him a hard time about where he lives
Liza Fireman
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite MG book for the year. It is funny, sad, and much more. Most of all it is a really interesting book.

Perry lives in a jail, Blue River, a minimum-security facility. The warden allowed it, and he lives there since he was born. His mother is an inmate, that made a few mistakes. She was accused with manslaughter. She drove drunk, got into an accident and a man was killed.

The warden lives with the following belief: minimum security has always meant maximum potential. Our resident
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, it was an amazing book. I recommend to anyone who hasn't read it. It is a Caudill nominee, and one of the bast, too
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two sentence summary: Engaging story about a boy somewhat unlawfully raised in a prison who is found out and then sent to live with the DA who is delaying his mother's parole hearing. Think of a cross between One For the Murphys and Orange is the New Black.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this story is how Leslie Connor portrays the primary villain, District Attorney Thomas VanLeer. VanLeer is evil, but his type of evil is so evil not even he is aware of just how evil he is. VanLeer is a liar and a
Destinee Sutton
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've had lots of success booktalking this one at schools. The kids are super interested to find out why Perry lives in a prison, and even more why he LIKES it and is upset when he moves into a normal house.

My favorite part of this book was the description of the mindset one develops in prison. Big Ed's rules and tips for serving time are also applicable to life on the outside and I think a big part of what makes Perry such a good person.

Speaking of Perry being a good person, my big criticism o
Brindi Michele
There is absolutely no way I would put this book into the hands of children with incarcerated parents. And this makes me very, very sad and extremely disappointed. One in 28 school-aged children have a parent in the prison system, a fact acknowledged in the author's note, and yet they won't be able to relate to hardly anything in this book. It should be labeled as fantasy. And I know there would be no way a child could be raised in a low-security prison, (my husband was a deputy in the jail divi ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really sweet story. I enjoyed it immensely.
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-the-middle
One in twenty-eight school-aged children have a parent in the prison system. This fact is acknowledged by Leslie Connors in her author's note, and one reason I chose to read this book. Working with a number of young people with incarcerated parents, I want to be able to recommend books that reflect this reality. This pick, though, was lacking. I did not find Jessica's (Perry's mother's) "crime" believable, and Perry is almost too perfect of a kid. The story drags in portions. For students who ha ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deyanne by: Liza
Engaging and unique, this book had such incredible potential. Since when have you read an elementary school novel where the protagonist was raised in a minimum-security facility? I started out loving the book, laughing out loud and thinking, "Can't wait to share this." By the end I was clicking off stars if you will for just too much. There was just too much coincidence. There was just too much radical change and too many of the same stories of "innocence". The penal system didn't come out looki ...more
Sarah Levy
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved the story & the characters.. We don't see a lot of kid lit books with incarcerated parents, and I appreciate that! Took away a star because I felt it was just a bit too long. Will definitely be sharing this one with students next year! ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chb-arc
Rarely is this situation addressed in this way in literature, but for this 9-13 age group this may be uniquely appropriate. I don't recount the plot since that is summarized above.

While I (as an ex-children's librarian) enjoyed reading it, it had such a 'fairy tale' veneer to it that its purpose seemed weakened. That's not unusual for children's books, but the subject matter puts a different light on it since this addresses a societal situation. In her Acknowledgments, Leslie Connor cites the h
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing

What it's all about...

Perry T. Cook has lived in a minimum security prison with his mom ever since he was born. He is exceptionally happy. His bedroom is next to the warden's office and he has incredible relationships with many of the inmates. The warden's niece takes him to school, he has little jobs at the prison, he is smart and well adjusted. He and his mom look forward to the day when she will be paroled and they will have a house of their own. And then...a wrench is thrown into Perry's lov
Jillian Neyhart
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this story! Although I thought it was going to be cheesy, it really ended up being one of my favorites. Perry Cook has grown up in a minimum security prison with his mom, who is an inmate. This book had a little bit of mystery added to the drama, which kept me interested until the very end. Great read!
Megan  Fox
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book! While the premise of the story is highly unlikely, the author took a "what if" approach and told a great story. Good writing, fleshed out (and believable) main characters. I'm going to have to try another book by Leslie Connor.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting to read... But though I enjoyed it this book was rather slow in some parts and easy to predict. I gave it 4 stars because it was different because I had never read a book like it before.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every so often I read a book that really impacts me. I wasn't expecting it from a J Fiction book but I was completely blown away! What a beautiful, deeply moving read. I highly recommend it!
Snazzy Reads
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is so, so, so, so, SO good! And it made me so happy! I'm calling it early. I think this is going to be one of my favorite books I read this month.
St. Gerard Expectant Mothers
Trying to find a really good uplifting, wholesome children's book in a sea of reads that deal with real life harsh topics from child abuse to terminal illness can be really tough for a children's bookseller like myself. However, a real gem can shine through the pile of repetitive sad themes and I'm glad I discovered this outstanding novel by Leslie Connor in our ARC's at work.

In this story, Perry T. Cook grew up with his incarcerated mother in a small-town minor state penal facility. Immediately
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perry T. Cook, eleven, has grown up in a minimum-security prison. His mother is incarcerated; she’s a resident, in for manslaughter. But we also learn that she’s worked to attain a degree in social work while there. Perry has been allowed to stay in his own little room near the warden’s office. He’s close to many of the residents, has some rules (doesn’t every kid?), and is happy. He’s looking forward to his mom being released on parole. He’s a good kid with a great friend at school, Zoey, a yo ...more
Mary Ellen
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perry Cook was born and raised in a correctional facility, where he was fostered by the warden and raised by his mom- an inmate.
Wow! What a setting!

I was instantly drawn to this book from that description alone. It raised so many questions! Why is his mom in prison? How was he possibly allowed to stay with her? How could someone who was literally raised by criminals be called "honorable"?

I am very stingy with my 5 stars. I reserve them for books that have reached so deeply inside me- that I kno
Nancy Kotkin
A boy with an incarcerated mother grows up alongside her in a minimum-security prison until the county District Attorney catches wind of the unusual arrangement and fosters the boy in his own household instead. Full of empathy, optimism, and wisdom. Not sure how the 2017 Newbery committee missed this gem.

I normally prefer shorter middle grade novels, but this one is tightly plotted and not overwritten. Nothing is extraneous and it captures attention until the end.

A couple of things are bothersom
Lynn Plourde
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars . . . p. 169 "You're one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, Perry Cook." I agree with Miss Maya. I'm bummed that Perry is a fictional character because I want him as a friend, a neighbor. He is the most OPTIMISTIC character I have ever met; and as an eternal optimist, I love that about him. And I love how author Leslie Connor shows us that home and family are so much more than a place and a genetic link. I love Connor's words--so delicious. I love the friendship between P ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
I have just had the privilege of reading this wonderful book. I received this as an ARC at the ALA Midwinter Conference. To say that I loved it would be an understatement--his book grabs you from the first chapter and doesn't let go of you even after you finish it. I love to see how Perry deals with the joys and adversities that come with life. His life is full of special people, many of whom the world would deem as unworthy to consider taking the time to speak to, much less get to know. Perhaps ...more
Sarah Krajewski
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perry T. Cook loves Blue River. He wakes everyone up with his morning "all rise" announcements, he goes to school, and then returns in the evening. Blue River is home to him and his mother. Blue River is also a prison. Perry's life has always been normal to him though, and he shares all that he loves about it to his best friend at school, Zoey Samuels. Soon, however, Perry's happy life is completely uprooted when he is taken from Blue River and placed in foster care. After that, Perry is determi ...more
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From the author's website:

My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I’ve been in a hurry ever since.

When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the fi

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