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Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

Junkyard Wonders (edition 2010)

by Patricia Polacco, Patricia Polacco (Illustrator)

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4525723,073 (4.63)3
Title:Junkyard Wonders
Authors:Patricia Polacco
Other authors:Patricia Polacco (Illustrator)
Info:Philomel (2010), Hardcover, 48 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:It's Ok to be Different, Friendship

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Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco


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Tricia is starting a new school, hoping that it will be different from her last school where her classmates called her dumb. Tricia finds herself in a special needs class, but it is not the typical special education class, it is called the Junkyard. Mrs. Peterson is not the typical teacher either, on the first day of school she tells Tricia and her classmates that they need to memorize the definition of genius because that describes each of them. Tricia is upset when her friends from the neighborhood won't hang out with her, but soon makes friends with her Junkyard classmates. Each student in the class is different, one student has Tourette's, one has diabetes, one doesn't talk, and another has a disease that makes him grow too fast. The students also all learn that despite their disabilities, they are all smart and creative in their own ways, and not even being bullied by the other school children will stop them from striving for success. Each student has different talents, some can write poetry, others can draw, or even build things. Together as a class, they overcome their classmate Jody's death, by flying an airplane they built out of scraps from an actual junkyard in his honor.
This is my absolute favorite book I have read this semester. Not only does it show that anyone can overcome bullying and a disability, but it shows just how powerful and influential a teacher can be to a class of students. Mrs. Peterson constantly helps her students not just learn, but succeed at overcoming their disabilities and fears in life. It was clear from Patricia Polacco's dedication at the end of the book as well as the beginning, that Mrs. Peterson truly made a great impact on her life and that is something I strive for with my future students. ( )
  SMLawrence | Dec 1, 2014 |
This is another book by Polacco that I read. I had no idea that this was a "sequal" to Thank You, Mr. Falker, which I really loved. This book continues Tricia's story when she moves back to California and has to go to a different school. She is put into a classroom with students with different types of disabilities. The teacher in this class calls this room "The Junkyard," where beautiful things could be found, one just has to look.

I absolutely loved this book just like Thank You, Mr. Falker. This book shows that the power of friendship can overcome anything, bullies, teachers, peers. I really liked that the teacher in this book helped the students to believe in themselves and see that they are special in a good way. Polacco's illustrations are also incredible. They are beautiful and heart warming at the same time.

This is a truly memorable book about children who have disabilities who learn to believe in themselves and that they are special in a good way. Polacco definitely has a way of creating a story that sticks with the reader long after the book is finsished. ( )
  sreinh2 | Nov 25, 2014 |
This book is my favorite book, yet. The author's note at the end of the book brought tears to my eyes. This story is so powerful for many reasons. It is real, relatable, and inspiring. I especially enjoyed how they memorialized Jody by naming the plane "Junkyard Wonder" and flying it off of the roof. Every illustration depicted what was happening in the story during that time. The illustrations were beautiful and showed great emotion. For example, on the page when Mrs. Peterson announced to the class that Jody had passed away, the illustration shows the shock, dismay, and heartbreak on all of the student's faces. This was a traumatic time in all of their lives and it was conveyed perfectly through the illustration. Such an amazing book. ( )
  abrozi1 | Nov 3, 2014 |
Of all the books read by this author thus far, this is my favorite. Polacco writes from real-life experiences, praising those who had a positive impact. Her beautiful illustrations and lovely writing are a wonderful combination.

At an early age, she struggled to read and to process things that seemed to come easy to her classmates. Spending a year with her father in Michigan, she hoped that school would be different. Leaving behind those who knew her difficulties, she longed for a new beginning.

When entering a new school, she soon learned that she was placed in a class with those who had various physical and developmental issues. Bullied by some non "junkyard wonders", it was a brilliant, caring, sensitive teacher who turned the "junkyard wonders" into a cohesive group who grew to know they had many strengths. Teaching that their difficulties were not insurmountable, the children grew to trust their teacher and to rely on each other.

When one of their classmates died, the group completed their original shared project and used this as an impetus to soar with their dreams.

Five BIG stars for this marvelous story. ( )
1 vote Whisper1 | Oct 10, 2014 |
Every time I read a new Patricia Polacco book I can't help but to fall in love with her stories. Junkyard Wonders is such a beautiful and moving story about students with special needs. Trisha goes to live with her dad and when she goes to school she is placed in a special class. By reading Thank you, Mr. Falker we find out that Trisha has dyslexia and she has just learned how to read. This story is a roller coaster of emotions. The students in this class accept each other just like they are and they do not see anything wrong with them. The story talks about the death of one of the boys in the class and it is a very difficult moment in the story. The best about the story is that is written about real life experiences. At the end of the book we find out that all the students in this class became important people with different skills in their adult life. I know I've said this before but Patricia Polacco's books are a must have. ( )
  cvarela | Oct 2, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399250786, Hardcover)

When young Trisha finds out her class at the new school is known as ?The Junkyard,? she is devastated. She moved from her old town so she wouldn?t be in a special class anymore! But then she meets her teacher, the quirky and invincible Mrs. Peterson, and her classmates, an oddly brilliant group of students each with his or her own unique talent. And it is here in The Junkyard that Trisha learns the true meaning of genius, and that this group of misfits are, in fact, wonders, all of them.

Based on a real-life event in Patricia Polacco?s childhood, this ode to teachers will inspire all readers to find their inner genius.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Inspired by a teacher who believes each of them is a genius, a class of special-needs students invents something that could convince the whole school they are justifiably proud to be "Junkyard Wonders."

(summary from another edition)

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