|Born||July 11, 1944|
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Patricia Barber Polacco (born July 11, 1944, Lansing, Michigan) is an American author and illustrator. Throughout her school years, Polacco struggled with reading but found relief by expressing herself through art. Polacco endured teasing and hid her disability until a school teacher recognized that she could not read and began to help her. Her book Thank You, Mr. Falker is Polacco's retelling of this encounter and its outcome. She also wrote such books as Mr. Lincoln's Way and The Lemonade Club.
She is of Georgian,Russian and Ukrainian-Jewish descent on her mother's side and of Irish on her father's side.
She was born in 1944, the daughter of a teacher and a salesman turned talk show host. Her parents divorced when she was three years old. She, her mother, and her brother went to live at her maternal grandmother's farm in Union City, MI, the setting of many of her stories. Polacco was discouraged in school and did not learn to read until she was nearly fourteen. In junior high school, one of her teachers finally discovered that dyslexia was the reason for her lack of confidence.Although her grandmother died in 1949, when Polacco was only five years old, she appears in several of Polacco's books.
At Oakland Technical High School,Polacco became friends with Frank Oz. She wrote When Lightning Comes in a Jar as a tribute to her grandmother (referred to as "Babushka" in her books), and a cousin. She did not start writing and illustrating her first children's book until she was 41 years old. Polacco resides in her native Union City, Michigan, although not on her family home but on a different property which she purchased which was originally known as "The Plantation".
Polacco has married twice. She had two children, Traci and Steven, with her first husband. The marriage ended in a divorce. Her second husband, Enzo Mario Polacco (m. August 18, 1979), is a chef and cooking instructor. This marriage also ended in divorce.
Ella Jenkins is an American folk singer and actress. Dubbed "The First Lady of the Children's Folk Song" by the Wisconsin State Journal, she has been a leading performer of children's music for over fifty years. Her album, Multicultural Children’s Songs (1995), has long been the most popular Smithsonian Folkways release. She has appeared on numerous children's television programs and in 2004, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist. She is perhaps best known for originating the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961). Her other notable film roles include The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) and Do the Right Thing (1989).
Sandra Keith Boynton is an American humorist, songwriter, director, music producer, children's author and illustrator. Boynton has written and illustrated more than fifty books for both children and adults, as well as over four thousand greeting cards, and five music albums. She has also designed calendars, wallpaper, bedding, stationery, paper goods, clothing, jewelry, and plush toys for various companies.
Hedwig Gorski is an American performance poet and an avant-garde artist who labels her aesthetic as "American futurism". The term "performance poetry", a precursor to slam poetry, is attributed to her. It originated in press releases for experimental spoken word and conceptual theater Gorski created during 1979. She is a first-generation Polish American academic scholar and accomplished creative writer. The innovative poetry, prose, drama, and audio works are published and produced in a variety of media using standard and experimental forms.
Patricia Hill Collins is an American academic specialising in race, class and gender. She is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also the former head of the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and a past President of the American Sociological Association. Collins was the 100th president of the ASA and the first African-American woman to hold this position.
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Maxine Kumin was an American poet and author. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1981–1982.
William Kurelek, CM was a Canadian artist and writer. His work was influenced by his childhood on the prairies, his Ukrainian-Canadian roots, his struggles with mental illness, and his conversion to Roman Catholicism.
Patricia C. "Pat" McKissack was a prolific African American children's writer. She was the author of over 100 books, including Dear America books A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl;Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, The Great Migration North; and Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl. She also wrote a novel for The Royal Diaries series: Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba. Notable standalone works include Flossie & the Fox (1986), The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural (1992), and Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? (1992). What is Given from the Heart was published posthumously in 2019.
Elizabeth Murray was an American painter, printmaker and draughtsman. Her works are in many major public collections, including those of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Murray was known for her use of shaped canvases.
Cut is a 2000 novel by Patricia McCormick, targeted at young adults. In 2002 it was named one of the ALA's "Best Books for Young Adults" for that year.
Carrie Mae Weems is an American artist who works with text, fabric, audio, digital images, and installation video, and is best known for her work in the field of photography. Her award-winning photographs, films, and videos have been displayed in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, sexism, politics, and personal identity.
Barbara Ann Rosenthal is an American avant-garde artist, writer and performer. Her existential themes have contributed to contemporary art and philosophy. Her pseudonyms include "Homo Futurus," taken from the title of one of her books and "Cassandra-on-the-Hudson," which alludes to "the dangerous world she envisions" while creating art in her studio and residence, located since 1998 on the Hudson River in Greenwich Village, NYC.
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Meteor! is a 1987 children's picture book by author Patricia Polacco. Polacco is well known for writing and illustrating stories depicting events from her childhood in Michigan. Meteor! was published in 1987 by The Trumpet Club, commonly known for publications of children's books from grades PreK-6. The story is about Patricia, her brother Richard, and Cousin Steve as young children spending time with their grandparents on their farm in Michigan. It seems to be a normal summer night until a flash from the sky and a crash in the yard.
Mr. Lincoln’s Way is a children’s book written by Patricia Polacco published in 2001. It was published by Philomel Books in New York, NY. This book deals with the issue of racism and can be used as a tool to introduce diversity and tolerance in a classroom setting. It tells the story of a principal of an elementary school, Mr. Lincoln, helping the school bully overcome his feelings of hatred. Polacco did all of the watercolor illustrations.
Pink and Say is a children's book written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. It was first published in 1994 by Philomel Books. The story is about two boy soldiers who meet each other in the battlefield during the American Civil War. One of the protagonists, Sheldon Russell Curtis ("Say"), is a white soldier who was injured while trying to escape battle. He is saved by a former slave named Pinkus Aylee ("Pink"), who is now a soldier of the 48th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops. Pink carries him back to his Georgia home where he and his family were slaves. While the frightened soldier is nursed back to health under the care of Pink’s mother, Moe Moe Bay, he begins to understand why his newfound friend is so adamant on returning to the war; to fight against the sickness that is slavery.
Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker who explores landscapes and systems. Her body of work spans multiple media, including public sculpture, photography, drawing and audio.
Janice Tanaka is a Japanese American media artist born in Hollywood, California known for making video collages. She received her B.F.A. (1978) and M.F.A. (1980) from the Art Institute of Chicago. She began her artistic career as a dancer before shifting her focus to film and documentaries. She is best known for Rebel with a Cause which chronicles the life of activist Akio Herzig Yoshinaga who fought for redress of wrongs done to Japanese-Americans interned in camps during World War II. Tanaka's own parents spent time in the camps.
Carole Marie Byard was an American visual artist, illustrator, and photographer. She was an award-winning illustrator of children's books, and the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, as well as multiple Coretta Scott King Awards.