Wednesday, August 10, 2016
All Rise for the Honorable
No doubt those of us who read a lot of books have our favorites. This is one of mine.
I read middle-grade novels like they're going out of style, fast and furiously most of the time. And true confessions, sometimes I forget them just as quickly, even the ones I liked a lot.
Not so ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK.
I loved this book. It's funny. It's smart. It's complicated.
It's so very kid-friendly.
(I also loved Leslie Connor's previous book, WAITING FOR NORMAL. I listened to that one, something I don't do often enough, and didn't want my car trips or my walks to end.)
When I read THIS ARTICLE in last week's Washington Post, it reminded me of Perry and his mom.
Yes, Leslie Connor created her story. It's fiction. But she did a lot of reading about incarcerated moms.
Kimberly Hricko's newspaper piece last week made me think about how little we truly know about what really happens.
The backstories behind the news.
The layers of stories in people's lives.
Also making me think how hard it is to write multi-layered characters.
And Leslie Connor sure nailed it with ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK. I am in awe. I am about to read the book again to see if I can figure out how she does it.
Don't take my word for it. Check out what everybody else said.
“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)
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)