Saturday, December 29, 2012

All of the Above
by Shelley Pearsall

All of the Above
Shelley Pearsall
Grades 5 and up

Set in inner-city Cleveland, five unlikely individuals come together to break the world-record for the largest tetrahedron. Tetrahedrons are geometric solids with four faces. All four faces are equilateral triangles. Four 7th grade students, each with their struggles of their own, and one math teacher desperately trying to engage his students, set out to break the California school record of 4,096 pieces which stood seven feet tall.

Mixed into the story are the challenges each student tries to overcome. James Harris III lives with his brother and uncle, is the tough one who does not want to be there but has to be since he is flunking math. Sharice has to deal with life as a foster child. Rhondell is a bright student trying to overcome the odds stacked against her to make it to college. The last of the students is Marcel, whose dad wants him to follow his footsteps into the Army.

The story is told through the view points of all the students, Mr. Collins the math teacher and several other adults related to the students. It is a story of trials, destruction and satisfaction that is loosely based on the author’s experience with a set of students who did set out to build the largest tetrahedrons.

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