Thank You, Mr. Falker

Thank You, Mr. Falker

by Patricia Polacco

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399257629
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/12/2012
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 22,468
Product dimensions: 7.28(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

"I was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1944. Soon after my birth I lived in Williamston, Michigan and then moved onto my grandparents farm in Union City, Michigan.

"I lived on the farm with my mom and Grandparents until 1949. That is when my Babushka (my grandmother) died and we prepared to move away from Michigan. I must say that living on that little farm with them was the most magical time of my life...and that my Babushka and other grandparents were some of the most inspirational people in my life.

"My parents were divorced when I was 3, and both my father and mother moved back into the homes of their parents. I spent the school year with my mother, and the summers with my dad. In both households I was the apple of my grandparents' eyes! I would say that these relationships with my grandparents have most definitely influenced my life and my work. You probably have noticed that in almost every book that I write there is a very young person who is interacting with an elderly person. Personally, I feel that this is the most valuable experience of my life....having the wonder of knowing both children and elderly people.

"The respect that I learned as a very young person certainly carried over into my life in later years. I have always like hearing stories from these folks. My genuine curiosity for the wonder of living a very long life prepared me to accept the declining years of my own parents.

"To get back to the farm in Union City...this place was so magical to me that I have never forgotten it! This was the place where I heard such wonderful stories told...this was the place that a real meteor fell into our font yard...that very meteorite is now our family headstone in the graveyard here in Union City.

"Did I tell you that I now live in Union City? This is after living in Oakland, California for almost 37 years. But, you see, every year I'd come back to Michigan to see my Dad and family.

"Anyway...

"In 1949 we left the farm to move, first to Coral Gables, Florida. I lived there with my Mom and my brother, Richard, for almost 3 years. Then we moved to Oakland, California. I remained there for most of my young life on into my adulthood. We lived on Ocean View Drive in the Rockridge District. What I loved the most about this neighborhood is that all of my neighbors came in as many colors, ideas and religions as there are people on the planet. How lucky I was to know so many people that were so different and yet so much alike.

"It is on Ocean View that I met my best friend, Stewart Grinnell Washington. We are best friends to this day! He has a younger brother, Winston and three sisters; Jackie, Terry and Robin. When I was a student in elementary school I wasn't a very good student. I had a terrible time with reading and math. As a matter of fact, I did not learn how to read until I was almost 14 years old. Can you imagine what it was like to see all my friends do so well in school and I wasn't! I thought I was dumb. I didn't like school because there was this boy that always teased me and made me feel even dumber. When I was fourteen, it was learned that I have a learning disability. It is called dyslexia. I felt trapped in a body that wouldn't do what everybody else could do. That was when one of my hero's, my teacher, found what was wrong with me and got me the help I needed to succeed in school. Of course, now that I am an adult, I realize that being learning disabled does not mean DUMB AT ALL! As a matter of fact, I have learned that being learning disabled only means that I cannot learn the way most of you do. As a matter of fact, most learning disabled children are actually GENIUSES! Once I learned how to read and caught up with the rest of my fellow students, I did very well.

"I went on to University, majored in Fine Art, then went on to do a graduate degree and even ended up with a Ph.D. in Art History. For a time I restored ancient pieces of art for museums. I eventually became the mother of two children, Steven and Traci, and devoted much of my days to their education and upbringing.

"I did not start writing children's books until I was 41 years old. Mind you the "art" has always been there for me most of my life. Apparently one of the symptoms of my disability in academics is the ability of draw very, very well. So drawing, painting and sculpture has always been a part of my life even before I started illustrating my books. The books were quite a surprise, really. Mind you, I came from a family of incredible storytellers. My mother's people were from the Ukraine and Russia...my father's people were from Ireland. My extended family,(Stewart's family) were from the bayous of Louisiana...also great story tellers. When you are raised on HEARING stories.....NOT SEEING THEM, you become very good at telling stories yourself. So at the age of 41 I started putting stories that I told down on paper and did drawings to help illustrate them...I guess the rest is history.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful career of writing books for children . Who could have guessed that little girl that was having such a tough time in school would end up an illustrator and author. Children and adults alike ask me where I get my ideas...I get them from the same place that you do....MY IMAGINATION... I would guess the reason my imagination is so fertile is because I came from storytelling and, WE DID NOT OWN A T.V.!!!!!!!!! You see, when one is a writer, actor, dancer, musician; a creator of any kind, he or she does these things because they listen to that "voice" inside of them. All of us have that "voice". It is where all inspired thoughts come from....but when you have electronic screens in front, of you, speaking that voice for you... it DROWNS OUT THE VOICE! When I talk to children and aspiring writers, I always ask them to listen to the voice, turn off the T.V. and

"LISTEN...LISTEN...LISTEN.

"Now that I have moved back to Union City I am intending to open my house and community and invite people to come there to take part in writing seminars, story telling festivals, literature conferences and various events that celebrate children's literature."

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.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
"I was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1944. Soon after my birth I lived in Williamston, Michigan and then moved onto my grandparents farm in Union City, Michigan.

"I lived on the farm with my mom and Grandparents until 1949. That is when my Babushka (my grandmother) died and we prepared to move away from Michigan. I must say that living on that little farm with them was the most magical time of my life...and that my Babushka and other grandparents were some of the most inspirational people in my life.

"My parents were divorced when I was 3, and both my father and mother moved back into the homes of their parents. I spent the school year with my mother, and the summers with my dad. In both households I was the apple of my grandparents' eyes! I would say that these relationships with my grandparents have most definitely influenced my life and my work. You probably have noticed that in almost every book that I write there is a very young person who is interacting with an elderly person. Personally, I feel that this is the most valuable experience of my life....having the wonder of knowing both children and elderly people.

"The respect that I learned as a very young person certainly carried over into my life in later years. I have always like hearing stories from these folks. My genuine curiosity for the wonder of living a very long life prepared me to accept the declining years of my own parents.

"To get back to the farm in Union City...this place was so magical to me that I have never forgotten it! This was the place where I heard such wonderful stories told...this was the place that a real meteor fell into our font yard...that very meteorite is now our family headstone in the graveyard here in Union City.

"Did I tell you that I now live in Union City? This is after living in Oakland, California for almost 37 years. But, you see, every year I'd come back to Michigan to see my Dad and family.

"Anyway...

"In 1949 we left the farm to move, first to Coral Gables, Florida. I lived there with my Mom and my brother, Richard, for almost 3 years. Then we moved to Oakland, California. I remained there for most of my young life on into my adulthood. We lived on Ocean View Drive in the Rockridge District. What I loved the most about this neighborhood is that all of my neighbors came in as many colors, ideas and religions as there are people on the planet. How lucky I was to know so many people that were so different and yet so much alike.

"It is on Ocean View that I met my best friend, Stewart Grinnell Washington. We are best friends to this day! He has a younger brother, Winston and three sisters; Jackie, Terry and Robin. When I was a student in elementary school I wasn't a very good student. I had a terrible time with reading and math. As a matter of fact, I did not learn how to read until I was almost 14 years old. Can you imagine what it was like to see all my friends do so well in school and I wasn't! I thought I was dumb. I didn't like school because there was this boy that always teased me and made me feel even dumber. When I was fourteen, it was learned that I have a learning disability. It is called dyslexia. I felt trapped in a body that wouldn't do what everybody else could do. That was when one of my hero's, my teacher, found what was wrong with me and got me the help I needed to succeed in school. Of course, now that I am an adult, I realize that being learning disabled does not mean DUMB AT ALL! As a matter of fact, I have learned that being learning disabled only means that I cannot learn the way most of you do. As a matter of fact, most learning disabled children are actually GENIUSES! Once I learned how to read and caught up with the rest of my fellow students, I did very well.

"I went on to University, majored in Fine Art, then went on to do a graduate degree and even ended up with a Ph.D. in Art History. For a time I restored ancient pieces of art for museums. I eventually became the mother of two children, Steven and Traci, and devoted much of my days to their education and upbringing.

"I did not start writing children's books until I was 41 years old. Mind you the "art" has always been there for me most of my life. Apparently one of the symptoms of my disability in academics is the ability of draw very, very well. So drawing, painting and sculpture has always been a part of my life even before I started illustrating my books. The books were quite a surprise, really. Mind you, I came from a family of incredible storytellers. My mother's people were from the Ukraine and Russia...my father's people were from Ireland. My extended family,(Stewart's family) were from the bayous of Louisiana...also great story tellers. When you are raised on HEARING stories.....NOT SEEING THEM, you become very good at telling stories yourself. So at the age of 41 I started putting stories that I told down on paper and did drawings to help illustrate them...I guess the rest is history.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful career of writing books for children . Who could have guessed that little girl that was having such a tough time in school would end up an illustrator and author. Children and adults alike ask me where I get my ideas...I get them from the same place that you do....MY IMAGINATION... I would guess the reason my imagination is so fertile is because I came from storytelling and, WE DID NOT OWN A T.V.!!!!!!!!! You see, when one is a writer, actor, dancer, musician; a creator of any kind, he or she does these things because they listen to that "voice" inside of them. All of us have that "voice". It is where all inspired thoughts come from....but when you have electronic screens in front, of you, speaking that voice for you... it DROWNS OUT THE VOICE! When I talk to children and aspiring writers, I always ask them to listen to the voice, turn off the T.V. and

"LISTEN...LISTEN...LISTEN.

"Now that I have moved back to Union City I am intending to open my house and community and invite people to come there to take part in writing seminars, story telling festivals, literature conferences and various events that celebrate children's literature."

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.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Thank You, Mr. Falker 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
kabentley on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is a heart warming story of a child's struggle to read and her teacher's determination to help. Trisha thinks she will never learn to read, but with the encouragement of her teacher, Mr. Falker she does. Not only does she learn to read, but she becomes a popular children's author. This autobiography of Patrica Polacco teaches many valuable life lessons.
Necampos on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Reading Level 3.7Thank you, Mr. Falker is one of the sweetest books ever! This little girl has trouble reading and gets made fun of for it. She thinks she is dumb and hides from her problem. Not until the loving Mr. Falker comes around and notices her trouble, does he work with her until she is finally able to read. What is so great about this book is that the little girl is Patricia Polacco. She experienced these frusterations in school and turned that part of her life into a book. WHen students have trouble with work, they should think about this book and how it just takes time and effort, but to not give up.
Madalyn333 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Thank you Mr. Falkner is a heart warming story about a struggling reader named Patricia. Patricia is very artistic but she goes all the way through elementary school without being able to read. Even though Patricia cannot read she loves to draw and she is very close to her grandparents. Once Patricia's grandparents die, she moves to California with her family. Patricia attends a new school where she is teased because she cannot read. At the end of the story, her kind teacher Mr. Falker discovers Patricia's problem and he teachers her how ot read.
hebeaton on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Thank You Mr. Faulker is a true story about the author who suffered from dyslexia. She falls behind in school and thinks she is stupid until she meets Mr. Faulker, a great teacher who takes the time to help her learn. This is a good story to show children that everyone learns in different ways but it also reminds us as teachers to make time for all of our students.
jlowens4 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I really enjoyed reading "Thank You, Mr. Falker". This book is a wonderful book for a classroom. The little girl in the book can not read very well at all. The children in her class tease her year after year. This made the little girl feel dumb and hate school. Until one year there was a new teacher who helped her to read, after this she loved school and loved reading. It turns out the book is actually about the author of a book. A child who grew up not being able to read very well turned into a book author. I think that this story has several lessons to teach. First it teaches a child not to give up. No matter how hard something is keep trying and trying until you get it. Second it teaches children not to make fun of other students, and how it makes the child feel when they are getting made fun of. Lastly it teaches not only students for other teachers to be there for another person and to help them when they are in need. I think that this is a wonderful book and a great addition to any classroom!
lwmasters on LibraryThing 25 days ago
An extremely heart-warming story. A young girl struggles with reading and math her entire life until she reaches the 5th grade. There she finds a sincere teacher who helps her overcome the difficulties she faces. It is an actual depiction of the authors life. Would be a great read to all students and would be especially meaningful to those who have learning disabilities of their own. Also a great story that lets readers know how it feels to be bullied. Just a wonderful read!!!
jodyebutler on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A beautiful story of a young girl who has trouble learning to read and the teacher who cares enough to make a difference. A book that students will relate to whether they have a learning disability or have a classmate with one.
aflanig1 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A story about a girl who struggles in school and the teacher who helps her learn how to read. Great story about never giving up
kikione on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Trisha is having trouble at school. Her teacher Mr. Falkner recognizes her artistic talent and then finds a way to help Trisha overcome her reading difficulties. A great book for helping students to see that we each have strengths and weaknesses.
hwallen on LibraryThing 25 days ago
An absolutely wonderful book that keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen on the next page. Children ad well as adults can relate to the story told in this book in some part of their educational experience. The ending is one that just may throw you for a loop, but a memorably delightful one.
mlsweatman on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is about a child named Trisha that does not like to read. Luckily, has a teacher named Mr. Falker that she thinks the world of becuase he is so nice to her. I enjoyed this book so much because I want to be a teacher that has such a good effect on students. This is a good book that I would read to a child that has problems reading and maybe this could help them open up to reading books more often.
KindiC on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book really grabs your heart...especially if you're a teacher.
CassieM on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Great book for new teachers.
kba13 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A young girl who is struggling in school feels discouraged and lost when a teacher takes the time to tutor her and give her the push she needs. Her self-esteem rises as she feels the support and help from Mr. Falker. This would be a good book to introduce when teaching children to become fluent readers.
renee.sutter on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The theme of Thank you, Mr. Falker is how reading is important but some people can¿t learn to read as fast as other. In this story Trisha has dyslexia and feels stupid and gets teased by other students, until she gets a new teacher who helps her learn to read. This story was particularly interesting because it written from the authors real life experiences. I thought the theme was worthwhile because it teaches kids the just because you don¿t learn the way others do doesn¿t mean you are dumb.
VerrillC on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book is about a struggling reader and a teacher who knew just how to encourage a child and help her through her difficulty. He learned how to encourage her and met with her to coach her through letters and words. This book can be very encouraging to struggling readers. This should be a read aloud for younger children or for more advanced readers. You can scaffold teaching children to preview the text and go through the pictures first to determine what they think the book will be about. You can also scaffold how to imagine a character's thoughts.
julieah on LibraryThing 25 days ago
One of the hardest things a young student can face is the struggle of learning, and the distress one can receive. Thank you Mr. Falker is an emotional, heartfelt picture book that tells the story of a young girl eager to go to school and read, but once she is there she finds that the words wiggle and are jumbled on the page. Not only does she become behind but she is forced to face tormenting students that call her dumb. Finally the young girl has a new teacher, Mr. Falker, who changes her life forever. His encouragement and teaching strategies help young Trisha become the student she always hoped to be. This heartwarming story becomes even more meaningful when the reader learns that it is about the author and illustrator, Polacco herself. This book is a perfect edition to an elementary classroom (grade 2-5) and can even be enjoyed by adults. It is a perfect motivator for future teachers, and students who struggle in school.
ReplayGuy on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Polacco shares her life story about growing up with dyslexia. It was a move to California and a fifth grade teacher Mr. Falker that helped her learn how to read. A good story that touches on stuggling with a disability, bullying and overcoming.
MalissaLojszczyk on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A little girl that grows up thinking she is dumb until a special 5th grade teacher realizes that the girl is dyslexic. The teacher and a reading specialist help her overcome her dyslexia and help her read. The little girl is Patricia Polacco, the author of the book. The book highlights both the importance and fun of reading.
awiltenburg on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I love this book! Patricia managed to muttle through the death of her grandparents, a big move across the country, and made it to 5th grade without learning how to read. She suffered low self-esteem and was bullied. Then the new teacher, Mr. Falker comes along notices her problem, puts an end to the bullying, and teaches her to read. The main character, Patricia grows up to become an Author-- Patricia Polacco!! love it!! With this book, I could teach bullying, perseverance, overcoming literacy problems, skill building, caring, etc. . . Grades 1+
Hhawlk on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is such an incredible story of a little girl's relationship with learning and her teacher, Mr. Falker. It amazes me that it is an autobiography of Patricia Polacco. I love reading this book to upper elementary/middle school students on the first day of school. It reminds me of the reason I wanted to become a teacher...to make a difference in children's lives.
aross2055 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is a very touching book. It teaches children that they can over come struggles if they work hard at it. The author went from not being able to read in 5th grade to a great author. What an inspiration!!
jslhensley on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book tell the story of the author as a young girl who struggled to read. With the help of a caring teacher she overcomes her problem with reading and grows to become and author.
cmiersma on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Summary: This book written by Patricia Polacco is the true story of this author and the struggles she went through in school. Patricia couldn¿t read till she was in 5th grade when a new teacher, Mr. Falker recognized her struggle and misunderstanding. He reached out to her and helped her in a way that no other teacher had ever done. Patricia had a special teacher and worked on learning to read and recognize numbers. The last page of the book tells the readers that the story of this girl is her when she was young and how Mr. Falker had shaped her life by being the teacher and friend that he was to her. Critique: This historical fiction tells of the true story of the author when she was young. It gives detailed facts, emotions, and actions that took place during the childhood in school that eventually lead her to where she is today. The plot is very well developed, including all elements of an excellent plot. There is conflict, action, and a wonderful resolution that strongly relates to children today that also struggle with school as well. Teacher Use: A teacher could read this book to a struggling child and explain to them that they are not the only ones who have a difficult time academically or even socially. If a class has studied Patricia Polacco as an author, this would be an excellent book to share with struggling students who would know how Patricia is. Media: Watercolor
ksmyth on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a great book, probably autobiographical, about a little girl with a reading disability. It focuses on the efforts of her teacher, Mr. Falker, to help her cope with it. It's an interesting, bittersweet salute to teachers.