All of the Above

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
All of the Above Book Poster Image
Kids build a big tetrahedron, lasting friendships.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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.


Some name calling, bordering on teasing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byaleas July 28, 2019

Great lessons

This book is about working together to reach a common goal. It goes in depth into the life of each character, and shows how each character deals with challenge...
Teen, 13 years old Written byNewYorkRangers13 January 18, 2018

Trash Book

Hello is this thing on, well im reading this for school and it's bad. Not to mention James and his brother do drugs
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.

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.


Talk to your kids 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

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