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Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

Junkyard Wonders (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Patricia Polacco, Patricia Polacco (Illustrator)

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5687517,512 (4.57)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 (2010)


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This book follows the amazing story of Patricia Polacco's journey in a class of kids with exceptionalities. In the story, young Tricia moves to a new school but is devastated that once again she has been placed in the special education classroom, nicknames "the junkyard". However, she soon learns that though her and her classmates are all unique, they possess many unique qualities that help them to achieve their goals.
This moving story is an excellent example of autobiography. The author does a great job of retelling a story from her youth in a way that other young students can relate to. Although the story has been slightly fictionalized, it helped the story to be understood by younger readers.
1. This would be a great book to read in either a special education classroom, or in a classroom that has students with exceptionalities. Before or after reading aloud, the teacher can talk about how everybody is unique, but that doesn't necessarily mean the things that make one unique are bad.
2. Another great way to utilize this book would be to emphasize the principle of not judging a book by its cover. Like the junk in the junkyard, the characters in this story were capable of so much more than they , and everyone else, thought. This would be a great encouragement for students struggling with self-esteem and for students that struggle with being inclusive of others.
Age Appropriateness: Intermediate, Middle School
Media: pencils and markers ( )
  rstewart15 | Mar 3, 2017 |
This story made me feel so emotional and happy about the fact that they grew stronger in the face of adversity. I would read this to any age but especially to introduce them to special needs children and talk to them about inclusion and helping kids who might not learn as fast or "the normal way." This book was a wonderful piece of literature that has information about special needs classes and how to interact with them throughout! The story is very moving and I enjoyed reading about school and classmates from the perspective of a child with special needs. I would read this to a class that had students with disabilities or if a problem arose based on those disabilities regarding someone else in the class teasing them. The illustrations provide a good addition to the book with lots of emotion and are made with markers and pencil. This is a good fantasy because it dramatizes a real event but still has real world elements. ( )
  hdalesky15 | Feb 11, 2017 |
Junkyard Wonders is about about many different kids with many different disabilities. Each student is different in their own way but as a whole they make up a wonderful class. I hated how the other kids were making fun of them because they were in a special class. Everyone has some kind of disadvantage with something to it helps to help instead of hurting one another with crazy comments. ( )
  lasmith7 | Nov 10, 2016 |
Patricia was excited to go to a new school and make new friends where no one would know that she used to not be able to read. However, when she started on the first day, she realized that she was not with the "regular" kids. She was in a class with many different types of children, and everyone called the class a junkyard. With the help of her teacher, Mrs. Peterson, she was able to find a purpose. She didn't need to be in a class with the "regular" kids; she was right where she belonged. As a future teacher, this true story touches me. My purpose as a teacher is to first educate, but also, it is to help my students find themselves and become comfortable within their environment. I wish to touch my students in a way like Mrs. Peterson. ( )
  Sierra.Coupel | Oct 10, 2016 |
This is book has a message of being true to yourself. This little girl has moved to a new school and her classroom is called the junkyard. She feels different because of the class she was put into and does not want to feel this way anymore. She struggles with being different until she realizes it is not necessarily a bad thing. On page 5 you see this where the author says "Didn't you notice... all of us are... different. You know... odd." This feeling quickly changed when on page 14 she says "Our class was special, all right. The junkyard kids were pretty amazing to begin with, and Mrs. Peterson showed us how to shine." This book is great for all of our students to learn that kids are different. The pictures are very colorful and very detailed. ( )
  pwood3 | Sep 25, 2016 |
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To the wonder of Mrs. Peterson and my tribe.
First words
My heart sang as I walked to school with all of the kids on my gramma's block on the first day of school.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:48 -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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