Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Junkyard Wonders
Author & Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Publication Year: 2010
Location: Personal Collection
Awards: Publisher's Weekley starred review, Volunteer State Book Award
Summary: In another autobiographical story, Trisha begs to stay at her dad's house in Michigan and start a new school where no one knows she was in special ed. But she gets put in a special ed class called the "junkyard" at her new school and the other kids make fun of her and her classmates. When Miss Peterson hears that, she takes them on a junkyard field trip where they realize that the "junk" there can be used in exciting ways. Trisha and her group find a plane and the class raises money to buy a motor for it. Tragedy strikes when a member of the class passes away but the whole group comes together to launch the plane in Jody's memory. There's a wonderful update on the grown-up classmates at the conclusion of the book.
Classroom Ideas: This is a great example of personal narrative and a story with the theme of realizing that everyone has their own unique talents and nobody is "junk".