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All the Right Stuff
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All the Right Stuff
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A National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Walter Dean Myers is also a three-time National Book Award finalist and the recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award. In All the Right Stuff, Paul...
A National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Walter Dean Myers is also a three-time National Book Award finalist and the recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award. In All the Right Stuff, Paul...
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  • A National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Walter Dean Myers is also a three-time National Book Award finalist and the recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award. In All the Right Stuff, Paul DuPree is spending the summer working at a Harlem soup kitchen. There, Elijah the soup man tries to teach Paul about life—but Paul's more interested in hanging out with Keisha, a teen mom who shares his love of basketball. Before long, Paul realizes this summer is about more than just getting by—it's about taking charge of his life.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 9, 2012
    Printz-winner Myers (Monster) expertly turns a series of Socratic dialogues on the nature of the social contract into an engrossing and fast-paced novel that never feels preachy. Shortly after his father is killed by a stray bullet, Harlem teenager Paul DuPree takes a summer job in a soup kitchen. His elderly supervisor, Elijah, engages Paul in discussions about the social contract, introducing him to the basic concepts, as well as to the teachings of Locke, Hobbes, Hume, and Rousseau. Paul also hears from neighborhood gangster Sly, whose college studies have persuaded him that the social contract is just a tool to keep the poor in check. As Paul weighs the opposing viewpoints, he applies what he learns to his late father’s life, as well as the lives lived by the senior citizens Elijah helps, Paul’s other family members, and Keisha, a basketball player he’s mentoring by helping her with her outside game. Myers fits a large cast and many motivations into a relatively small work, and they in turn transform this extended examination of political philosophy into a must-read novel. Ages 14–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Myers portrays the street life of Harlem through the voices of a trio of disparate characters. Narrator Brandon Gill transitions deftly from the troubled voice of high school senior Paul Dupree to those of Elijah, his summer employer, and the smooth-talking Sly, a neighborhood gang leader. Elijah's cajoling, amusing instructions in the soup kitchen run the gamut from how to dice carrots to life lessons on social contracts. Paul thoughtfully digests the lessons and tries to convey them to an unwed mother he is coaching in basketball. Myers adds drama to this morality tale through the characters of Sly and the young basketball star. Gill decisively portrays them all, along with a host of minor characters--from soup-kitchen seniors to thugs and visiting relations. D.P.D. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2012
    Gr 8 Up-Walter Dean Myers once again tells a story (HarperCollins/Amistad, 2012) about a young man trying to figure out his place in the world. Paul DuPree is a high school student growing up in Harlem, New York. He's a good student, has plenty of friends, and thinks he has life figured out until he begins working at a nearby soup kitchen owned by Elijah Jones. The octogenarian and Paul have many discussions about the social contract, and Paul's view of his world as well as the death of his drug addicted father begins to change. Narrator Brandon Gill does an expert job of switching between the wise Elijah and the young upstart, Paul. He is also spot-on in voicing the female characters, including the smart and slightly sassy elderly women who come to the soup kitchen. The only minor flaw in this thoughtful novel is the pacing. There are long pauses throughout the dialogue that throw off its back-and-forth conversational tone. Still, the strength of the story and the narration are sure to draw in listeners.-"Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI"

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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