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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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5857716,858 (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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Patricia is going to a new school where she knows nobody. She is told that she is being placed in a special classroom that everyone refers to as "The Junkyard". Patricia can sense the negative connotation behind this nickname and doesn't like it. Her teacher, Mrs. Peterson, reminds the class that they are Junkyard Wonders and can achieve anything, regardless of what others think. The Wonders begin to grow close and learn to stick up for each other as well as themselves. By the end of the book, all of the Wonders realize their worth and are actually proud of themselves for what they have accomplished. I absolutely loved this book. I feel like the author did an amazing job at portraying students with special needs. A lot of books about students with disabilities seem to focus on the disability more than the actual student. In this book, the students were the focus of the story and I loved that. I could empathize with the students in the story and I feel as though the majority of students in a classroom could as well. I will definitely be sharing this book with my own students! ( )
  krista_patman | Apr 25, 2017 |
Patricia Polacco was diagnosed as dyslexic as a young girl. She was placed in a different class than her friends and just wanted to be in a “regular class.” That is, until she gets placed in The Junkyard Wonders class. Her teacher, Ms. Peterson, helps show the class just how special they truly are and Patricia begins to love her class and her classmates.
As a future teacher, it is so important that I make my students believe in themselves. Every student is capable of learning and amazing in their own way. Ms. Peterson’s love for her class is incredible, and I hope that I can inspire my students like that when I become a teacher. ( )
  mkstorey | Apr 17, 2017 |
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 |
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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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