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All the Right Stuff
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All the Right Stuff
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New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen's perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers...
New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen's perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers...
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  • New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen's perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers weaves together political philosophy, basketball, and making soup in Harlem, with the depth that defines his writing career.

    After his father is shot and killed, Paul Dupree finds a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen. Elijah, the soup man, questions Paul about tough life choices, even though Paul would rather be playing basketball. Over the summer, Paul begins to understand the importance of taking control of your life.

    All the Right Stuff includes a Q&A between Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman, coauthor of Kick.

About the Author-

  • Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2012

    Gr 8 Up-As Paul Dupree enters the summer before his senior year, his father is killed. Between time in jail and his drug addiction, fatherhood was not a priority for the man. Shortly after his death, Paul lands a summer community job at Elijah Jones's Soup Emporium in Harlem, and, as part of his assignment, he mentors Keisha Marant, a teenage mom and basketball superstar, in order to improve her outside shot. He spends his time with Elijah, an octogenarian, learning about soup and the social contract. He develops relationships with Elijah, Keisha, the regulars at the soup kitchen, and Sly-a possible thug who rejects the basics of the "Social Contract." Paul uses his experience with his father; conversations with Elijah, whose wisdom and patience are new to him; and the relationships he develops over the summer to make up his mind about the philosophies of Jean Jacques Rousseau and others on how to succeed in life. The plot is dense with dialogue about the social contract. Myers does a thorough job of covering different aspects, holes, arguments for and against, and questions involving the theory. He also does an excellent job of relating it to urban African American culture today. Reluctant readers might give up on this novel early on, but those who stick with it will find it rewarding. A good fit for school libraries in which the social contract is taught or emphasized.-Adrienne L Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Chicago Sun-Times

    "Myers has cooked up a provocative novel that simmers long after its last pages." — Chicago Sun-Times

    "[E]ngrossing and fast-paced... a must-read novel." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "[R]ewarding. A good fit for school libraries in which the social contract is taught or emphasized." — School Library Journal

    "[B]egins with a bang." — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

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