All Rise For The Honorable Perry T. Cook Discussion Questions

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

The novel 'All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook' is the story of a young boy's unconventional upbringing. Use these discussion questions to help your upper elementary or middle school aged students understand setting, characters, and theme.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

Upper elementary or middle school aged students will love the tale of Perry T. Cook in this charming novel. It follows the titular character, Perry, from his time being raised by his mother in a correctional facility to his foster care experience and his fight against an unjust justice system.

Help your students understand and respond to the novel's setting, characters, and themes by using these discussion questions to launch meaningful conversations. You may choose to use them for a one-on-one discussion with a single student or provide a list of questions to student partners or teams. Additionally, consider asking students to respond in writing to one or more questions to serve as a summative assessment.

*Note: These questions are designed to be used after students have read the novel.

Questions about Setting

  • Perry is born and raised in the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility. What is his experience like in the prison? Which people help his mother raise him? What does he learn from the other prison residents? Do you think Blue River was a good place to raise Perry or would he have been better off placed in foster care? Why?
  • Surprise, Nebraska is a small town with a colorful group of citizens. Describe the town of Surprise and some of the people who make it a great place to live. How does Perry fit in there when he is first removed from the prison? How does he learn to deal with the change? Have you ever faced a difficult change? How did you cope?
  • Perry is placed in foster care after being taken from Jessica. How does his time in foster care help or harm him? Do you think he could be happy in a foster home for the rest of his childhood? Why or why not?

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