Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Wonder of it All!


Although Trisha started off liking school, things have been rough. Everyone at her school still thinks she is dumb because she had trouble reading. Trisha gets a break when she goes to visit her dad and grandma over the summer. She is excited when she convinces them to let her stay with them for the next year and go to a new school. Trisha knows this year will be better, especially because she already made a friend over the summer. The first day of school she is thrilled about starting fresh and waves her class assignment slip proudly in the air. Right away something seems wrong and her only friend won’t talk to her. Her friend tells her she can’t sit with her at lunch because Trisha is in “the junkyard”.  It turns out that this is the nickname for her classroom and the other kids at school don’t hang out with the students in the junkyard. Trisha notices that everyone in her class is different in some way, but they are all kind. Being part of the junkyard is seen as a bad thing by the other kids, but not in the eyes of her teacher, Mrs. Peterson. The teacher explains to the kids that they are like junkyard wonders, each of them holding a special treasure. Mrs. Peterson sets out to inspire her students and reveal to them their inner magic. Will Trisha have a better school year? Can Mrs. Peterson get the kids in her class to see who they really are? Read this touching story to find out!
I have read many picture books by this fantastic author, but The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco was one I hadn't heard of before. I already connected with Trisha from Thank You, Mr. Falker, because I had trouble learning to read. I was so happy for her when she got to have a fresh start at her new school and my heart broke when things were rocky right away. I loved Trisha’s attitude throughout the story because she is open to making friends and she is accepting of others. I thought her teacher was out of this world and her passion for teaching and belief in her students was inspiring. There are so many wonderful moments in the book. I don’t want to give away how the story ends, but it gave me the chills and made me realize that every child and adult should read this book. I recommend it to people of all ages. The best part is that this is a story right from the author’s life. Patricia Polacco is Trisha and you will be rooting for her and the other junkyard wonders right from the start. I think the fact that the author uses events from her own life and the lives of her family members in her books helps readers to connect to them.  Each one of her books has blown me away because of the story, but also because they are based on real events. If you are looking for a book that makes you cheer for the underdog and that will make you believe in yourself, then look no further!
Has anyone else read The Junkyard Wonders? Or have you read another book by Patricia Polacco? What did you think? Stop by The Signed Book Hop to enter to win two signed copies of her books!

Happy Reading! ~L

29 comments:

  1. I love anything and everything that this author creates. There is one about thunder that I especially adore!

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    1. Patty- Me, too! All her books touch me in some way. I think the book you mentioned is "Thunder Cake". Love it! ~L

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  2. This book sounds like it delivers a wonderful message about not judging others and making fun of them. I will definitely want to get this one for my daughter! Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Heidi- You hit the nail on the head! It is a perfect book to share with your daughter. :) ~L

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  3. This sounds like an amazing book! Thanks for sharing this.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Gina- It really is. Books that give me the chills are the best. :) ~L

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  4. Sounds like a really wonderful book! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Meradeth- It is a great book for kids and adults. Thanks for stopping by! ~L

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  5. Wow - sounds like a powerful book! I'll have to pick up a copy for sure!

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    1. Jemi- It is! I hope you get a copy soon. You will love it and so will your students! ~L

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  6. This sounds like a really good book. I remember there were classes like this when I was in school and life was pretty miserable for those kids. I would be interested in seeing how Polacco handles this.

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    1. Alex- You will be amazed at the way Polacco handles the situation. It is such a fabulous story and even more interesting that it comes from her own experiences. :) ~L

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  7. What a beautiful story! I have a junkyard wonder of sorts. He isn't in a special class, but allowances are made for him. He's 13, this might be a little young for him, but I'd still like to read it.

    Heather

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    1. Heather- Junkyard wonders make the world a more interesting place and they have something unique to offer. Although it is a picture book, it is a picture book that older kids can definitely appreciate. I know many of her books are used in classroom in elementary and middle school. I know you will be touched by the story. :) ~L

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  8. This sounds like a great story and also something that might help many children who feel like outsiders, because they have problems.
    It also reminded me of Sally Gardner, great writer!

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    1. Petra- I think this is a book that all kids should read because it does show that we are all different and special. I don't think I have read anything by Sally Gardner- I will have to check her out! Thanks. ~L

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  9. What a wonderful story, I will be looking for a copy.

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  10. I haven't read this but it sounds good.

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    1. Erik- I can't say enough good things about it. :) ~L

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  12. Thanks for telling us about this one. It looks perfect for a summer read.

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    1. Lee- You are welcome! I hope you enjoy it. :) ~L

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  13. I'm teary-eyed after reading this. Mrs. Peterson sounds amazing! What a touching story.

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    1. Elisa- Mrs. Peterson is amazing and a teacher that truly believes in her students. A story that you and your kids will love! ~L

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  14. Sounds great, I'll be looking for a copy from my library. Today, a student was asking if I could recommend a book. Think this is the kind of story she'd like.

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    1. I read 'The Junkyward Wonders' last week and got a student to write an essay inspired by it. I went on to read a couple more of Patricia's books: 'The Art of Miss Chew,' 'Someone for Mr Sussmann' and 'Bully' and enjoyed them all, especially 'Miss Chew.' Wish I had memorable teachers like her!

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  15. Hi Claudine- So glad you had a chance to read some of Patricia's books. They are so special. I would love to have a teacher like Miss Chew! She is truly a treat. :) I haven't read two of the books you mentioned- so I will have to look for them. I would love to read your student's essay inspired by Junkyard Wonders. Awesome! ~L

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