All of the Above Book Poster Image

All of the Above



Kids build a big tetrahedron, lasting friendships.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Students learn about overcoming obstacles and first impressions to work together for a common goal. A student is routinely neglected by her foster parent: Because she doesn't trust the child, the parent refuses to leave her home alone, forcing her to roam the streets while the foster parent goes on late-night dates.


A few instances of bullying behavior.

Not applicable

Some name calling, bordering on teasing.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a great book for reluctant readers. While there are some instances of bullying and child neglect, the overall message is a positive one.

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What's the story?

A frustrated math teacher stumbles on an idea to engage his students: build the world's biggest tetrahedron. After initial resistance, several students show up to the first meeting. Those that stick around forge unlikely friendships that change not only their thoughts about themselves but the community's thoughts about the run-down school they attend.

Is it any good?


This quick read will appeal to all kinds of students, whether they love, hate, or are indifferent about math. It will even appeal to budding chefs because barbeque recipes from a restaurant owned by Marcel's father are peppered throughout the book. Come for the math, stay for the BBQ? A strange combination, but somehow this story sticks together just fine, and sticks to your ribs.

This novel based on a true story starts off like many that focus on urban school systems: the students don't care, the teachers are uninspired, and the community is apathetic. Pearsall is a veteran author and she makes ALL OF THE ABOVE transcend the typical "teacher-inspired miracle story." Indeed, the math teacher at the center of the project, Mr. Collins, is a peripheral character. The four students who truly commit to the project -- Rhondell, Sharice, Marcel, and James -- drive the story with short, first-person chapters. The narratives show readers what motivates the four to participate in the project. We learn about their families, their dreams, and how the students are connected to each other.


Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of friendships. How did unlikely friendships help the students involved with the tetrahedron project? What did Sharice learn about friendship? How did helping Sharice affect Rhondell?

Book details

Author:Shelley Pearsall
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:September 6, 2006
Number of pages:256
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

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Kid, 11 years old February 6, 2011

OK for the right ages

It's ok. Sometimes it gets boring but the recipes are great. I loved the cake.
Kid, 12 years old December 18, 2010

tweens wil love it i think the older they get the more they ill hte this book

it was a reat book some of the adults were not good role models i think kids need to be a lilltle bit older to actuley undrstand this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 8 years old September 10, 2010
I am in the middle
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models