Synopses & Reviews
In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker
and The Art of Miss Chew
, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.
Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Waynes drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It wont be an easy roadwhen Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne wont let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces.
"As in Thank You, Mr. Falker, Polacco examines her childhood, her confused awareness of herself and her schoolmates as different--'retards,' according to their common nemesis--and her teacher, an imposing and passionate woman who changes their lives. Mrs. Parkinson makes her mark immediately in a class of children who involuntarily shout (Gibbie, who has Tourette's), do not speak (Ravanne, a foster child), or don't seem able to learn fast enough (Polacco herself). Stung when the 'normal' kids call their class 'the junkyard,' the students accompany Mrs. Parkinson to a real junkyard, where she urges them to find treasures and build something new: 'Forget what the object was... imagine what it could be!' Like her earlier autobiographical stories, this tale of Polacco's group and of the model plane they restore ('This baby is goin' all the way to the moon!') thrills, saddens, touches, and inspires, all at once. The death of their kindest classmate and loyal guardian, Jody, whose too-rapid growth defeats his heart, is the most difficult moment in this complex and deeply felt book. Not to be missed. Ages 6 9. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“In Polaccos world, children confront fears and solve problems with the help of loving adults, their exchanges captured with exceptional powers of observation. . . . Readers will feel the exhilaration of the standing ovation she receives and the warmth of Mr. Waynes praise. . . . Saddle shoes, stick-out skirts, and her English teachers brush cut all contribute to the period setting. Even the shyest readers may find themselves inspired.”
“Like Polaccos Thank You, Mr. Falker and others, an inspiring tale made all the more so by its roots in life.”
“Polacco has done it again! . . . Polaccos realistic, vibrant illustrations convey a range of emotions, especially her own, which vary from utter terror to extreme exuberance. She credits Mr. Wayne with enabling her to now speak to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.”
“Polaccos pencil and marker illustrations are expressive and immediate. . . . The depictions of Mr. T. and Mr. Wayne are particularly dynamic and even tender. . . . A lovely tribute to teachers and their life-changing impact on the author and countless other young people.”
When young Trisha finds out her class at the new school is known as "The Junkyard," she is devastated. She moved from her old town so she wouldn't be in a special class anymore! But then she meets her teacher, the quirky and invincible Mrs. Peterson, and her classmates, an oddly brilliant group of students each with his or her own unique talent. And it is here in The Junkyard that Trisha learns the true meaning of genius, and that this group of misfits are, in fact, wonders, all of them.
Based on a real-life event in Patricia Polacco's childhood, this ode to teachers will inspire all readers to find their inner genius.
Based on a real-life event in Polacco's childhood, this ode to teachers--a perfect companion to "Thank You, Mr. Falker"--is sure to inspire all readers to find their inner genius. Full color.
About the Author
Patricia Polacco (www.patriciapolacco.com) is the prolific author and illustrator of ninety picture books. From the earliest days of her publishing career an enthusiastic and spirited speaker, she has visited over one hundred classrooms each year, not only speaking but listening to the hundreds of children that she meets. How she learned to speak in front of an audience may well be her most important personal story. She lives in Union City, Michigan, where she is not shy about speaking to the myriad children who come to visit her and the famous meteor, the object of one of Patricias best-known stories.