Monday, September 20, 2010

The Junkyard Wonders - Patricia Polacco

Philomel Books, 2010
48 pages
Rating: 5
Endpapers Aqua-azure

Patricia Polacco does it again - and of all her books - I do love 'em all - this is at the very top of my list. Why? It's about a very special teacher, which I think (as a teacher) is very cool. It's about a group of kids who are who they are -- they've had no choice in the matter. Whether the've got diabetes, tourettes, visual and/or physical handicaps, learning difficulties, they are all put into the same class. And they bond. They shine. They care about each other. And they're smart and special.

On the first day of school, Mrs. Peterson shares with them the following definition of GENIUS:

"Genius is neither learned nor acquired.
It is knowing without experience.
It is risking without fear of failure.
It is perception without touch.
It is understanding without research.
It is certainty without proof.
It is ability without practice.
It is invention without limitations
It is imagination without contstraints.
It is ... extraordinary intelligence!"

This story is about how five kids - our author; Patricia Polacco, Thom, Gibbie, Jody, and Ravanna, prove the genius definition. It applies to all of them.

At the end - as an afterward - PP tells what became of her "tribe."

Simply wonderful storytelling.

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