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All of the Above

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Overview

Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Weaving together the different personal stories of the kids, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, award-winning author Shelley Pearsall has written a vividly engaging story about the math, life and good-tasting barbecue. Filled with unexpected humor, poignant characters and quiet brilliance, All of ...

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All of the Above

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Overview

Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Weaving together the different personal stories of the kids, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, award-winning author Shelley Pearsall has written a vividly engaging story about the math, life and good-tasting barbecue. Filled with unexpected humor, poignant characters and quiet brilliance, All of the Above is a surprising gem.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
James, Rhondell, Sharice, and Marcel live varied lives in the same inner-city neighborhood, attending the same school. What begins as a frantic bid by their math teacher, Mr. Collins, to reach above the odds in a dispirited teaching environment, soon turns into a moving novel about building community. The story is revealed through multi-voiced first person narratives, somewhat reminiscent of Paul Fleischman's Seedfolks. At first it appears that Mr. Collins has cracked under the pressure in math class. But soon it is clear that he is putting forward something between challenge and dream in attempting to launch a tetrahedron project in an after-school club. Building the world's biggest Sierpinski tetrahedron, beating the record of a California school, attempting to make it into the Guinness Book of Records—all these goals seem impossible. Still, little by little, as the ownership of the club shifts from teacher to students, the fellowship it engenders begins to make an impact on their lives. Pearsall draws us into the challenges and longings of those lives. Of the adult characters, Marcel's father Willy Q, and Rhondell's Aunt Asia, are particularly memorable. Javaka Steptoe's black-and-white line drawings, tetrahedron details, and barbecue recipes, all add texture and context. An afterword offers information on tetrahedrons and on the true 2002 Cleveland middle school tetrahedron project that inspired this book.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Exhausted by his efforts to teach math to apathetic middle schoolers, Mr. Collins proposes that his class attempt to build the world's largest tetrahedron structure. The resulting endeavor, described in alternating chapters by Mr. Collins and four of the students, builds more than geometry as readers come to see them as individuals and as a developing unit. They include artistic tough guy James Harris III, who insists that the individual tetrahedrons color coordinate; Marcel the Magnificent, who works vigorously at his father's barbecue grill; veteran foster child Sharice; and quietly ambitious Rhondell. Marcel's dad's recipes are sprinkled throughout. This novel is based on the true story of a Cleveland middle school tetrahedron built in 2002. Pearsall has a knack for creating strong narratives and characters that eschew predictability. While this solid, multivoiced offering is a hopeful one, the action is realistically gritty and true to its inner-city setting. The book may take a little hand-selling, but, like E. L. Konigsburg's The View from Saturday (S & S, 1996), it is a feel-good read.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cynical inner-city seventh graders are challenged by an odd idea from a math teacher. Frustrated that his students do not seem the least bit interested in learning, Mr. Collins proposes a contest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Several students show up for the first meeting, a few because they want to do something new. One picks math club over failing the class and another does not have anywhere else to go. Armed with reams of paper and glue sticks, the students begin building the huge structure piece by piece. However, the rainbow hued composition is not the only thing they are gluing together. As the weeks pass, they realize that they are forming something much more than a claim to a world record. They are building their lives. Recipes for barbeque sauce, cake and cornbread separate chapters, told in several alternating voices. Smart and fast-paced, this story inspires as well as entertains. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316115261
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 54,329
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

A former teacher and museum historian, Shelley Pearsall is now a full-time writer. Her first novel, Trouble Don't Last, won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. She lives in Silver Lake, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    Team Work

    All of the Above is a realistic fiction novel written by Shelley Pearsall. The novel is a very good and gives you examples that you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it. The novel is set in modern day Cleveland, Ohio at the end of Washington Boulevard. A team of students want to break a world record of who can build the largest tetrahedron in the state, but they have only a few weeks to do it and only four kids helping them.
    Trying to build a tetrahedron is hard so the team of students try to get more students to join. When that didn't work, they started making snacks for kids to come and eat, but they have to work on the project. After that doesn't work, the math teacher tells the students whoever helps can get extra credit on math. The author wrote the novel from the first person point of view and wrote how the kids would write as if she was a student her self. Also every chapter in the novel was from every characters different perspective of the situation. This novel would be good for children ages 10-15 only because it is based on normal kids their age trying to do something to make history. Therefore it could be inspiring to them.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    Awesome book

    I dont have the digital(or whatever they call it) copy but I do have the actual book, and it is GREAT

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Im sorry

    I had to read this book for school. I dont get it. I dont like it. Its nlt the best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    My imput

    I would like to read it but i have no money

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Iy This is an awesome book

    I had to read this for school and i loved it sooooooo much i am glad this was the book i had to read i didnt want it to end:)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Anonmyous

    Really good book. I had to read this over the summer for school and I am happy I had to. Quick read also

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    I have to resd this book for class

    I have to read this and i hate math...... would i like this?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Grrrrreat!

    This book is pretty well wrritten. Its not the best ive read but its cool!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    I loved it.

    It was really good. It would be a great book for 6th grade classes. It was a quick read and exsiding!!! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Very Good!!!

    I had to read this for school but I felt like I would choose to read it after school or outside of school. Now whenever I read a book in school I always say, "it is good but not as good as All Of The Above!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    kool katt

    great book eead ot in fifth grade i staartesd to cry because it represents alot of things

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 24, 2010

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted February 2, 2011

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    Posted July 15, 2012

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    Posted June 14, 2012

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    Posted March 7, 2011

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

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