Saturday, August 21, 2010

Patricia Polacco

The Junkyard Wonders
by Patricia Polacco

Polacco books tend to make me cry. And once I've gotten over the story itself, I'm hit with a wave of amazement at the number and breath of books Polacco has created. Her ability to handle issues, cultural differences, and difficult events in the format of a picture book is frankly astonishing- and something few people can accomplish so beautifully.

Polacco's newest book is no exception. The story follows children in the "junkyard" classroom, those who are different in various ways. But as their teacher, Mrs. Peterson, tells them, they are junkyard wonders, for it is from these different children that the true geniuses will come. It is through the eyes of young Trisha that we experience the trials and miraculous inventions of Mrs. Peterson's class. Polacco's illustrations combine the detail of photographs with the color and movement of life, bringing vitality to every page.

This personal account was made even more wonderful by the delightful note on the last page of the book, in which Polacco relates the futures of her fellow junk yard wonders. It is a story so perfect and wonderful it could only be found in real life. And I'll leave it as a delightful surprise for you as well.

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