Choosing High Quality Children's Literature/Children's Book Authors/Grades 2-3 Authors
Patricia Polacco[edit | edit source]
by Patrice Timothy
About the Author
Patricia was born in 1944, in Lansing, Michigan. Not long after her birth the family moved to Union City, Michigan to live with her grandparents. It was here that Patricia's grandmother ("Babushka") told her the many stories about her family. Patricia struggled as a student and she was not able to read until the age of 14. It was later discovered that Patricia had dyslexia. Despite her obstacles Patricia persevered and obtained a degree in Fine Arts and a PH.D in Art History. She wrote her first book at the age of 41. Patricia is currently living in Union City, Michigan and has 2 children, Steven and Traci. She has written 47 books, many of which were written about her Russian and Jewish backgrounds. Most of Patricia Polacco's books are a combination of historical non-fiction which includes many elements of her family's stories. Many of the story plots are based on things that really happened in Patricia's life. She is also the illustrator of the books. Ms. Polacco uses a combination of acrylic paint, pencils and oil pastels.
"My greatest artistic hero is Norman Rockwell. I don't believe that any living illustrator did not at one time or another scrutinize or emulate his style and vision." (Patricia Polacco)
January's Sparrow- In Our Mother's House- Someone for Mr. Sussman- For the Love of Autumn- The Lemonade Club- Ginger and Petunia- Something About Hensley's- Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare- Emma Kate- Mommies Say Shhh- An Orange for Frankie- John Philip Duck- Oh Look!- The Graves Family- "G" is for Goat- Christmas Tapestry- When Lightning Comes in a Jar- Mr. Lincoln's Way- Betty Doll- The Butterfly- Luba and the Wren- Welcome Comfort- Mrs. MacK- Thank You, Mr. Falker- In Enzo's Splendid Gardens- The Trees of the Dancing Goats- I Can Hear the Sun : A Modern Myth- Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair- Babushka's Mother Goose- Babushka's Doll- My Ol' Man- My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother- Pink and Say- Tikvah Means Hope- Babushka Baba Yaga- The Bee Tree- Picnic at Mudsock Meadow- Mrs. Katz and Tush- Chicken Sunday- Some Birthday!- Appelemando's Dreams- Uncle Vova's Tree- Just Plain Fancy- Boat Ride With Lillian Two Blossom- Thunder Cake- The Keeping Quilt- Casey at the Bat- Rechenka's Eggs- Meteor!
1988 Sydney Taylor Book Award
The Keeping Quilt 1989 International Reading Association Award Rechenka’s Eggs
March 10th 1990 Santa Clara Reading Council Author’s Hall of Fame
Commonwealth Club of California Recognition of Excellence 1990 Babushka’s Doll 1992 Chicken Sunday Nov. 14th 1992
1992 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for Illustration Chicken Sunday
1992 Boston Area Educators for Social Responsibility Children’s Literature and Social Responsibility Award
Nov. 9th 1993 Jane Adams Peace Asoc. and Women’s Intl. League for Peace and Freedom Honor award to Mrs. Katz and Tush for it’s effective contribution to peace and social justice.
Parent’s Choice Honors 1991 Some Birthday 1997 Video/ Dream Keeper 1998 Thank You Mr. Falker
1996 North Dakota Library Association Children’s Book Award My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother
1996 Jo Osborne Award For Humor in Children’s Literature
1997 Missouri Association of School Librarians Show Me Readers Award for My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother
1997 West Virginia Children’s Book Award Pink and Say
1998 Mid -South Independent Booksellers for Children Humpty Dumpty Award
Pink and Say- This ia a moving story about two young boys fighting in the Civil War. One of which was a white confederate soldier, Pink and the other was a African American confederate soldier, Say. After Pink gets wounded, Say saves his life by bringing him home to mama. Pink gets well and the boys head back out. The boys are captured and punished. Punishment was jail for Pink and death for Say.
Pink and Say is a picture book that really pulls on your heart strings. The character bonding between the two soldiers shows that they saw each other's sameness in instead of their differences. The plot is based on the true story of Sheldon Russell Curtis, Ms. Polacco's great-great grandfather. The illustrations are a riviting addition to the heart-warming tale.
Professional Reviews 
Thank You, Mr. Falkner-Trisha struggles with learning to read. As she watches all of the other students learning to read, she continues to see the connection between the written word and the spoken word. Although her family supports her, she begins to hate school due to the harassment by other students in the class. Mr. Falkner not only praises her artistic ability but he also realizes the problems causing Trisha from learning to read. Mr. Falkner takes the time to help her and she is elated by her success at reading.
This is the true story of Patricia's struggle with dyslexia. The plot is one that many students with reading difficulties can identify with. The theme is that anyone can learn to read if someone just takes the time to lead them. The illustrations are moving and really show the hurt and despair that Trisha was going through.
The Keeping Quilt-
Someone for Mr. Sussman