Leslie Connor's book All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook I think you will agree with me.
Perry was born and raised (for the past 11 years) in the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska. This is a correctional facility for those that have not intentionally committed violent crimes. Perry has attended local schools and considers his life to be very blessed. He has one friend, Zoey, as they begin Jr. High. This is when a new District Attorney (Tom VanLeer) is assigned to the area that covers Blue River Facility and he hears about Perry's living situation he gets Perry moved out ASAP! Perry is now living with the VanLeer family which happens to be Zoey's family. Perry just wants to get back to living with his mom. Jessica Cook is up for parole soon and Perry wants to make sure the parole happens so they can begin life outside the facility. Jessica has worked hard to get her life back together, earning a degree while in the facility and having a plan for her and Perry once she is paroled.
Perry can now only see his mom once a week and that isn't enough for him or his mom. When Perry and Zoey get the chance to volunteer at the community library and help deliver books to Blue River he is happy to see his mom, the other residents and to show Zoey his home. While many are happy with this extra visit it is important to not let Mr. VanLeer find out.
When Perry is assigned a school project to write about how he came to live in Surprise, Nebraska he decides to write the stories of the residents in the facility. Not all of them want to talk but some do and he finally learns the truth about how his mom ended up at Blue River. Perry finds out that the parole hearing has been delayed and that Mr. VanLeer isn't doing what he promised to Perry. It is up to Perry, Zoey and a very unlikely friend to help Jessica Cook get the parole she deserves.
I enjoyed hearing all the stories of the Blue River community. The people who are involved with Perry are family to him and they truly are like any of our own families. I learned that our past doesn't define our future we can work and change what our life situation is and make things better for ourselves and our families. I highly recommend this book for all readers, grades 5 and higher.
Happy Daily Reading!