Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Friday, April 8, 2016

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

How I Heard About It:  This was one of those novels that was getting the Twitter "buzz" before its release.  I knew of the author because I had read her earlier novel called Waiting for Normal which I absolutely loved.  I was excited to check out her new book.  

What It Is About:  Perry hasn't had the most traditional upbringing.  He was born and raised in a correctional facility that his mother has been sentenced to.  Due to a sympathetic warden, Jessica and Perry have been allowed to live together while she fulfills her sentence for a crime that she confessed to.  Perry spends his early mornings and evenings behind the gates with his mother and the other "residents".  He attends public school during the day where he enjoys his days with his best friend Zoey.  When Zoey's step dad, a district attorney, finds out about this unique situation, he steps in and changes Perry and Jessica's life together.  Perry is removed from the "prison" and moves in with Zoey's family.  He has never known life on the "outside" except for his schooling.  As he adjusts to his new surroundings, he and Zoey begin a school project that involves Perry's mother and the other residents in the correctional facility.  During their research, Perry finally learns what truly sent his mother to Blue River.  

What I Thought Of It:  I've mentioned in other posts that it can be hard to read a new book by an author that you have read before and really enjoyed their work.  That wasn't the case with this new novel.  I absolutely loved it and this story was just as good as Waiting for Normal.  The plot was interesting, engaging, and heart-warming.  The character of Perry drew me in at the very start and stayed in my heart until the very last page.  Actually he still remains with me after finishing the book.  I enjoyed getting a new perspective for life on the "inside" and the presentation of the back stories that influenced these people serving their time.  

Who Should Read It:  This is going to be a great story to "book talk" when I return to school after spring break.  I already have several fourth grade readers in mind that I know will devour this novel.  I'm also thinking this could make for a really strong read aloud in grades four through six.  Independent readers would be best matched for this book if they are a strong fourth grade reader or in grades five and/or six.  Middle school readers would also enjoy the book.  As always, adult readers that have an interest in middle-grade stories, need to read this new book by Leslie Connor.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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