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My Ol' Man

My Ol' Man

by Patricia Polacco

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Patricia's father is always telling stories, and the best is the one about the magic rock. But does the rock have enough magic to help when he loses his job?


Patricia's father is always telling stories, and the best is the one about the magic rock. But does the rock have enough magic to help when he loses his job?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spinning a tale about her traveling-salesman father, Polacco "so effectively evokes time, place and personality that her characters come to seem like old friends," said PW. Ages 5-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Pop was a traveling salesman, and Patricia remembers him as a man who could sweet talk anyone, and one who told outrageous stories. He tells Patricia and her brother of a magic rock and its wonderful powers, but when he loses his job due to the Depression, the kids wonder if the rock's magic has failed. Just when things have sunk to their lowest, Pop gets an incredible job offer-one that suits him to a "T." A positive message, with colorful illustrations that perfectly match the story.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Polacco excels at personal narrative woven in words and pictures. Here, she tells the story of the summer her father, a lovable, flimflamming traveling salesman, discovers an ancient rock with mysterious lines that he believes to be magic. Da shows it to young Patricia and her somber brother, Ritchie, who seem convinced of the rock's powers as well. When their father is fired from his job, Ritchie is sure that the rock will help them; in its own way it does. Da writes a story about it and submits it to the local radio station, which then hires him to write stories of magic, hope, and dreams to be broadcast on the air. Returning to the rock to say ``thank you,'' they discover it is gone. It is then that Patricia realizes that the magic had been inside them all along. The sentimental portraits Polacco paints are both intimate and universal-from the interior of Da's car, its dashboard littered with the detritus of a traveling salesman, to the interiors of the house with a wheelchair-bound Grandma, her artistic fingers twisted with arthritis and her hose drooping. So successful is Polacco at communicating through her vigorous words and watercolors that readers know these people and their modest, comforting environment instantly. A tender story that will not only remind readers of the necessity of believing in magic, but also renew memories and spark discussions of their own talismans.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Paperstar Book Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 10.21(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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