Perry was born at the Blue River minimum security correctional facility when his mother was still a teenager. He was allowed to live at the facility because the warden was his official foster parent. Then, one day a new district attorney discovers that he has been living at the facility and goes on a crusade to try to "free" him. Perry loves being able to live with his mother, and has close friends among both the staff and the residents of the facility, so he is not happy when he gets yanked away. He is a good boy, and, with the help of some friends, works through legitimate channels to try to find a way to be reunited with his mother again.
Here is another book about a nice boy trying to work through a difficult problem. It had a similar feeling to the one I just read, The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones. In that book, the reader comes to sympathize with residents of a nursing home, and in this the reader comes to see the prison inmates in a new light. In the book Perry does an oral history project where he collects the stories of some of the inmates. Some of the inmates received really long sentences for just momentary lapses in judgement. It makes me wonder how true-to-life the stories are. I kind of wish there was an afterward that said that the stories of the inmates were based on real cases and sentences. The inmates, Perry, his friend Zoey and Perry's foster parents all have well developed and interesting personalities. Although this book is well written and got good reviews, I am not sure if many kids would pick it up on their own. It is one librarians will have to promote or I am afraid it won't circulate much. The Mother/Son book club at our library will be doing this book in the fall. (381 p)