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 born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.
When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?
About the Author
Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at www.leslieconnor.com.
★ “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.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ “Rich characterizations give the novel its big heart: Jessica, Big Ed, and the other Blue River inmates are nuanced, vivid characters whose stories of perseverance after tragedy embody the novel’s themes of redemption, hope, and community. This beautifully written work will send readers’ spirits soaring.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“This book offers a different kind of diversity story that is important for kids to find on the shelf.” — Booklist
“Readers will long remember the folks of Blue River after its gates have closed.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“In a novel filled with endearing characters, sad goodbyes, and new beginnings, Connor (Crunch) expresses the depth of Perry’s homesickness without romanticizing his life in a prison.” — Publishers Weekly
“Every so often, a novel comes along to remind us of that what we hope is true, is true: that understanding is stronger than what seems to be justice, that kindness is deeper and fuller than anger, and that goodness can heal brokenness. This is one of those novels.” — Newbery Honor-winning author Gary D. Schmidt
“Perry Cook is a character who steps off the page, wanders through your mind, and finds his way to your heart.” — Lynda Mullaly Hunt, New York Times bestselling author of Fish in a Tree
“All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a book filled with tough truths, relentless optimism, fierce love and above all else gorgeous writing. I loved every heartbreaking, joyful page.” — Corey Ann Haydu, author of Rules for Stealing Stars
“A heartwarming story with an unstoppable hero, a mystery that keeps you guessing, and a unique setting. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a rich look at family and what it means to face adversity and fly—I loved it.” — Kimberly Newton Fusco, author of Beholding Bee
“Leslie Connor has given young readers a gentle introduction into the world of incarcerated parents in an engaging and ultimately wonderfully rewarding story.” — Nora Raleigh Baskin, author of Ruby on the Outside and Anything But Typical
“I don’t think there’s been a book so moving and heartwarming for this age range since WONDER.” — Shoshana, Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)
Starred Reviews for Waiting for Normal: “A heroine with spunk and spirit offers an inspiring lesson in perseverance and hope. First-rate.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Waiting for Normal
“A story centered around loss, heartbreak, abandonment, and new beginnings.” — School Library Journal (starred review) on Waiting for Normal
“Characters as persuasively optimistic as Addie are rare, and readers will gravitate to her. Poignant.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Waiting for Normal
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