Patricia Polacco

I have only read a couple of Polacco books before this summer, but nothing up to this point has really left a mark.  Then, one day, as part of my picture book reading frenzy for Jules‘ class, I picked up Thank You, Mr. Falker, and Mr. Lincoln’s Way, and my eyes were opened forever.  Since then, I’ve read as many as her books as our local library has to offer, and my daughters each have their favorites.  Ella (9) talks incessantly about Something About Hensley’s (it might have to do with the fact that the book features two sisters, one of whom, like Ella, is allergic to cats?).  Charlotte (7) pegged The Lemonade Club to be her new “all-time favorite book” and begged me to booktalk it and read the whole thing to her 2nd-grade class, even though I told her several times that the subject matter (cancer; some bullying) might be upsetting to some of her classmates.  She was so proud when someone asked to borrow the book after I caved in and read excerpts from it (she was a little sad too, because this means she couldn’t keep the book for another week).  I, myself, couldn’t some of her books without feeling choked up, and that, to me, is a sign of a great storyteller.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker — an autobiographical story about Polacco’s own struggles with not being able to read
  • Mr. Lincoln’s Way Mr. Lincoln, an African American principal, teaches a bully lessons in celebrating our differences and loving one another.
  • Something About Hensley’s –– based on a general store that Polacco frequents in Union City, Michigan, this is a story about Old John and the magical way he always seems to know exactly what a customer needs
  • The Lemonade Club – another story based on Polacco’s family, about cancer, hope, and human resilience
  • Bun Bun Button
  • Emma Kate
  • When Lightning Comes in Jar — an autobiographical story celebrating family traditions
  • Babushka’s Doll
  • My Ol’ Man
  • Pink and Say
  • Mrs. Katz and Tush
  • Chicken Sunday
  • Thunder Cake
  • The Keeping Quilt
  • Casey at the Bat
  • Luba and the Wren

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