All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
Written by Leslie Connor
Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth–and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.
When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?
Primary Source Pairing:
Author Leslie Connor writes in the Author’s Note that “one of the most heartbreaking things about being incarcerated is the struggle to stay connected to the family while serving out a sentence. At the same time, family love is a powerful defense against recidivism.” We see this love and the power it holds in the story of Perry and his mom.
For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an infographic about children of incarcerated parents. Be aware of the students in the class and sensitive to any who may be struggling with this directly.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- How is the text and other information arranged?
- What is the purpose of this infographic?
- What can you learn from examining this?
- What surprises you about this infographic?
- What questions do you have after studying this infographic?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Bound By Blood: Children of Incarcerated Parents Infographic: San Fransisco Chronicle