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Monday, January 15, 2018

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

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. CookPerry T. Cook is 11 years old and loves hanging out with his mom.  Before and after school, he hugs his mom.  He says good bye to her before he goes to school.  He comes home, finishes his homework with his mom, eats and goes to bed.  All that sounds normal until you know that his mom lives in Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska.  Zoey, Perry's best friend, lives outside the prison.  She and Perry fend off the teasing and taunting of the bullies at school.

Zoey's stepfather, Thomas VanLeer, the local district attorney gets Perry out of the prison by becoming his foster parent.  Perry slowly finds the right and wrong things to do in the VanLeer house.  Mr. VanLeer wants to help Perry.  And by help, he really means doing nothing at all to look into his mom's file as her parole hearing approaches.  It's up to Perry to help his mom get a parole hearing at all.  He takes risks to get information even though he knows that his mom may not get released. 

Perry shows emotional courage and bravery while fighting to get his mom released.  While sneaking around behind Thomas VanLeer 's back getting evidence that could prove his mother's innocence, he makes you believe that love can be the best reason to try. 

This book made me think about what defines a happy home for a child.   Perry uses his maturity and patience to move between the worlds of Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility and the outside home of the VanLeer foster home. 

This book is for readers grades 5 to 7, The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli  might appeal.  Cammie O'Reilly, lives in a prison with her father, the warden.  Although Perry lives in our generation, Cammie lives in the 1950's with the same set of good and bad things to deal with in a prison population of inmates.  They see the same mean, petty people and same innocent inmates who are trying to reach their goals. 

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