Parents' Guide to

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Warm, moving story of remarkable boy who calls prison home.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+

A discussion book for having good integrity, empathy, and respect

I can understand some not thinking this book is appropriate for younger aged children based on first impressions, however, I whole-heartedly disagree! Not one of our discussion books has been as widely loved by our homeschool group like this one. We spent so much time discussing integrity, respect, empathy, hope, and forgiveness. The kids (all ages 8-11) were inspired by Perry's ability to maintain respect even when they (our kiddos) were angry and ready to let Mr. VanLeer have it. We discussed how to maintain integrity, even in the face of sadness, anger and frustration, no matter how unfair (this was exemplified in several characters). We discussed empathy toward others and how much empathy and love go hand in hand. We discussed forgiveness and why "feeding your neighbor's dog" even when you disagree is a great way to approach communities of all sizes (as small as within our own homes to as large as nations helping nations). We used each of 'Big Ed's' mottos as a topic of discussion and the kids blew us away with their interpretation of those mottos into their own lives. They were extremely perceptive that the "win-win" motto was just like a mental gratitude journal and how having appreciation for small victories is what keeps us on track with our goals and helps us maintain good character even when faced with tough situations. We talked in-depth about the motto 'seek to understand before you try to be understood' and the kids were all busting with examples from their own lives. I am completely in awe of how though-provoking this book has been for my two kids (8 and10). And, now several of the dads and older siblings in our group have read it and are loving the story and the message. If a cuss word scares you away from the book, please please try to see how much value is in the book and the conversations that are had after finishing it. Just like one apple shouldn't spoil the bunch, one word shouldn't spoil the book. amendment: **This is not a 'send them off to read it alone book - this is definitely one for discussion. Another reviewer mentioned the criminals in the story and I am saddened that a parent would consider this inappropriate for kids. So many families, no matter how "perfect" have someone or know someone that has made a mistake and had to pay the price. Reality isn't always neat and clean and the better prepared our kids are for loving and accepting people as they are, the better they will serve their communities as they grow. The world needs more loving souls like Zoe Samuels!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 13+


This book has a swear word so I think it should be for ages 13 or 14

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

This memorable novel celebrates unconventional families and the resilience of the human spirit in turbulent times. Isolated in prison, the residents build a strong community in which Perry thrives. Thoughtful readers of ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK will be challenged to reconsider their presumptions about integrity, justice, and happy families. Perry's family is certainly flawed, but it's given him reason to wrestle with questions of honesty, fairness, and responsibility and equipped him with the skills to weather adversity.

Author Leslie Conner has created a fully realized world with caring, well-intentioned adults and children who are necessarily wise beyond their years.

Book Details

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