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About Patricia Polacco
Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.
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Books By Patricia Polacco
As a young Russian Jewish girl in the early 1900s, Anna and her family lived in fear of the Czar’s soldiers. The family lived a hard life and had few possessions—their treasure was a beautiful china tea set. A wedding gift to Anna’s parents, the tea set came with a wish that “Anyone who drinks from this will have blessings from God. They will never know a day of hunger. Their lives will always have flavor. They will know love and joy and they will never be poor.”
When Anna’s family leaves Russia for America, they bring the tea set and its blessings. A source of heritage and security, the tea set helps Anna’s family make friends and find better lives in America. A cup from the tea set—The Blessing Cup—became an anchor of family history, and it remains a symbol of lasting love more than a century later.
This tender tribute to the importance of loving lineage is a prequel and companion to the perennial bestseller The Keeping Quilt and is told and illustrated with authenticity and tremendous heart.
Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she is smart enough to get out. But no one dumps these girls, and now they're out for revenge.
Patricia Polacco has taken up the cause against bullies ever since Thank You, Mr. Falker, and her passion shines through in this powerful story of a girl who stands up for a friend.
When young Patricia’s family moves to Battle Creek, Michigan, she finds it hard to believe this new place will ever feel like home. But soon she meets the kind librarian Mrs. Creavy and discovers the library’s doors are always open. Now, Patricia has a place to explore and study books about the birds that she loves. Mrs. Creavy even introduces her to the books of John James Audubon and helps Patricia introduce her classmates to the joy of birds by becoming the first member of the Audubon Bird Club of Freemont Elementary.
There’s nothing worse than a rotten redheaded older brother who is the most embarrassing brother in the Elwood school district in Oakland, California. Even three years older, Richie makes Patricia’s life miserable, and there is nowhere to hide in their small town. Richie is gross—tangled hair, sloppy room, and messy clothes. And he doesn’t even care—not one bit! And now that they’re both in middle school, Richie does everything he can to mortify Patricia in front of her friends. Ozzie at the lunch counter says there will come a time when the two siblings will be friends, but that can’t be right…can it?
“A well-intentioned tale full of expressive scenes…heartfelt.”— School Library Journal
From New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Patricia Polacco comes the uplifting tale of three inseparable friends who pursue their talents and stop at nothing to achieve their dreams.
Based on her own childhood memory, author Patricia Polacco shares the pivotal story of one year in elementary school. On the first day of school, she breaks out in a rash and is called “Cootie” by her classmates. It seems like the year will be a disaster for Patricia until she meets Thom and Ravenne.
Each of the friends have their own talent. Thom, with his long legs and graceful manner, loves to dance ballet earning him the name “Sissy Boy.” Ravenne makes kits and paints on fabric, but she’s shy that people call her “Her Ugliness.” Thom, Ravenne, and Patricia are bullied by their classmates causing the three friends to band together for support. For years after that fateful year, encourage each other to stay true to themselves and achieve success in their passions.
This endearing and timely story celebrates uniqueness and proves that no matter what challenges stand in your way it’s your differences that make you who you are.
One afternoon, Jonathan Harker Weeks didn’t feel like practicing the piano. So his grandfather decided to tell him a story to show how much of an impact music can have. When he was a child growing up poor in Ireland, his mother made sure he learned to play the fiddle, despite their challenges.
After his mother passed away and he was on his own, Jonathan’s grandfather fell asleep hiding in a mail sack and was taken to a ship. When he woke up, he realized he was on the Titanic on its maiden voyage, and it was there that he met Wallace Hartley and Mrs. Weeks, a kind man and woman who took him in. Then one night, the majestic ship hit an iceberg. He and Mrs. Weeks were put on a lifeboat—and Mr. Hartley and his band bravely continued to play to calm the crew and passengers.
The story of Wallace Hartley is true and he is known throughout the world as a hero. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Keeping Quilt Patricia Polacco offers this stunning and heartbreaking picture book to celebrate the memory and bravery of a single man who used the power of music to comfort thousands of people during a catastrophic situation.
There will never be anyone like her grandmother, Patricia Polacco thinks, when her grandmother passes away. But when she and her family move to California—in the middle of a drought—she meets a new friend, the irrepressible Stewart, and his amazing grandmother, Miss Eula, who not only takes Trisha under her wing, but, with Trisha and Stewart, steps up to lead their entire extraordinarily diverse neighborhood to help a hurting neighbor—and her once lush garden—survive the drought.
Trisha's grandmother's old saying about the stars being Holes in the Sky turns out to be Miss Eula's, too, convincing Trisha that she has miraculously discovered another unforgettable grandmother.
In 1962 a stray dog was found under a pile of boxes in a Coast Guard warehouse in what used to be called Government Island, the Coast Guard Base in San Francisco Bay, when a seaman named Dave Bunch was mopping the floor. It was love at first sight. At first the men decided to hide the pup from the Commander, thinking she wouldn’t be allowed. But soon enough all of the men in the barracks fell hard for the little dog. Then one day when high waves challenged another vessel at sea, it was Vera’s fierce determination and natural swimming ability that brought the life preserver and safety line to the sinking boat. Vera became a hero and the beloved pet and mascot of the San Francisco Coast Guard.
Thursdays have always been lucky for Annie Fetlock. She was born on a Thursday. She won her first cooking contest at the age of eight on a Thursday. She met the love of her life, Mario, on a Thursday. They were married on a bright Thursday afternoon and their two children were both born on a Thursday. Annie is known far and wide for her Poke Pasta Salad and has the most popular restaurant for miles around.
When Mario suddenly passes away, Annie’s joy and love of cooking disappears. Before too long, a little kitty appears and Annie takes the kitty in, and, of course, calls it Thursday. Annie is back making Poke Salad in no time. Thursday the cat is known for amazing twirls and tricks and one day his twirls land him in Annie’s draining rigatoni, causing the pot of hot oil, garlic, and peppers to spill into the pasta! Then the entire container of Parmesan cheese overturned into the mix. The customers were horrified until they noticed that what looked like a big mess had the most amazing aroma and turned out to be the most delicious pasta dish ever created! Ugly Pasta—the dish that would make Annie famous for miles around—was born. And of course it was a Thursday!
A perfect companion to the classic Thank You, Mr. Falker, The Art of Miss Chew, and Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece, this book celebrates a teacher who inspired a young Patricia Polacco to become the writer and storyteller she is today.
Trisha is nervous about being chosen for Miss Keller’s writing class. “Killer Keller” demands that her students dazzle her with their writing, and rumor has it that she has never given an A. The rumors turn out to be all too true—there’s just no pleasing Miss Keller. Then an unexpected loss leaves Trisha heartbroken. Thoughts of teachers and grades forgotten, she pours out her soul in a personal narrative. And when Miss Keller reads it, she tells Trisha, “You’ve given your words wings.”
Tucky Jo was known as the “kid from Kentucky” when he enlisted in the army at age fifteen. Being the youngest recruit in the Pacific during World War II was tough. But he finds a friend in a little girl who helps him soothe his bug bites, and he gets to know her family and gives them some of his rations. Although the little girl doesn’t speak English, Tucky Jo and Little Heart share the language of kindness. Many years later, Tucky Jo and Little Heart meet again, and an act of kindness is returned when it’s needed the most in this touching picture book based on a true story.
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