Blue River. The Blue River prison. Sounds like a pretty scary place to live. Well, Perry T. Cook has a different opinion. The residents of the Blue River prison embrace Perry and his “criminal” mother, Jessica, with open arms. They don’t seem like big name criminals to Perry though as author Leslie Connor states in the book “All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook”. They seem like friends, family.
Now, Jessica thinks that Perry will always be with her. There to comfort her. There to be excited for her. But something happens that feels like a punch in the stomach. Thomas Vanleer happens. The best Butler County District Attorney.
Apparently raising a child in a prison is illegal and Vanleer swoops in to take Perry away where he can have a “normal childhood”. Perry thinks his world is crumbling, but part of his world sticks together. It turns out that Thomas Vanleer is the awful stepdad of his best friend Zoey. Perry begins to live with the Samuels and stepdad Tom with constant homesickness for Blue River. He misses his mother. He misses his family, the Warden, Mr. Hasley, Miss Maya, Big Ed.
Visiting days at Blue River are on Saturdays, so Perry only gets to see his mother once a week. Thomas Vanleer is not helping Jessica’s parole date either. He moves it and they put it on hold. Perry does not see the same brightness in his mother.
This book is probably for ages 8-9 and up. It would be confusing for younger readers because of all the government talk. There were a few parts where I also had to ask questions to understand the book. The book has amazing cliff hangers and twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat at all times.
“All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook” is truly breathtaking.