All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
by Connor, Leslie

Secretly being raised in prison so that he can be with his inmate mother, 11-year-old Perry is discovered by an ambitious new district attorney and brought to the outside world, where he desperately seeks to reunite with his mother while learning the truth about why she is in jail. Simultaneous eBook. 50,000 first printing.

Life changes completely for 11-year-old Perry after a crusading district attorney removes him from his mother's care and the only home he has ever known, the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility. When a class project leads Perry to explore the inmates' stories, he realizes that his mother's manslaughter conviction is based on a cover-up, and he is determined to get to the truth. Connor (Waiting for Normal, 2008) has created an unusual story about an empowered kid in a situation rarely explored in middle-grade fiction, though her author's note indicates that many correctional facilities do, in fact, have nurseries for incarcerated mothers. While a few problematic moments arise with the writing-the plot contains too many fortuitous coincidences, and the shifting point of view occasionally calls the intended audience into question-this book offers a different kind of diversity story that is important for kids to find on the shelf. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Positive thinking proves powerful for Perry Cook and his incarcerated mother. The Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska, is the only home the sixth-grader has ever known. His official foster parent, the warden of the minimum security facility, has let him stay with his birth mother there for nearly 12 years. When an ambitious district attorney yanks him out and delays Jessica Cook's parole application, Perry has to use his jail-honed skill of focusing on the positive to cope with his new foster placement with the DA's family and to get his mother released. This portrayal of prison life from the inside and from a child's point of view doesn't ignore unhappy realities, but it highlights the good: Jessica's social work, the support of their prison "family," and the love the prisoners have for their "mouse in the house." Similarly, while some have his back at school, including his best friend, Zoey—who's also the DA's stepdaughter—bullies are th ere, too. Related in short, episodic chapters, the narrative spans the eight weeks Perry spends at the DA's, concentrating in the first person on his experience but occasionally interrupting to look in on Jessica in the third person. Readers even learn some other prisoners' stories. With complex, memorable characters, a situation that demands sympathy, and a story that's shown, not just told, this is fresh and affecting. Well-crafted, warm, and wonderful. (Fiction. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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