Patricia Polacco

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Patricia Polacco
Born (1944-07-11) July 11, 1944 (age 75)
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, illustrator

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.

Lansing, Michigan Capital of Michigan

Lansing is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.


Early years

She is of Georgian, [1] Russian and Ukrainian-Jewish descent on her mother's side and of Irish on her father's side. [2] [3]

Georgians Caucasian ethnic group that are indigenous to Georgia

The Georgians or Kartvelians are a nation and indigenous Caucasian ethnic group native to Georgia and the South Caucasus. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, United States, and throughout the European Union.

Jews ancient nation and ethnoreligious group from the Levant

Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

Irish people Ethnic group, native to the island of Ireland, with shared history and culture

The Irish are a nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people. From the 9th century, small numbers of Vikings settled in Ireland, becoming the Norse-Gaels. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought many English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and the smaller Northern Ireland. The people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.

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. [4] Although her grandmother died in 1949, when Polacco was only five years old, she appears in several of Polacca's baaks. [5]

Dyslexia neurological condition, developmental or acquired

Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, "sounding out" words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads. Often these difficulties are first noticed at school. When someone who previously could read loses their ability, it is known as alexia. The difficulties are involuntary and people with this disorder have a normal desire to learn.

At Oakland Technical High School, [6] 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". [5]

Oakland Technical High School

Oakland Technical High School, known locally as Oakland Tech or simply "Tech", is a public high school in Oakland, California, United States, and is operated under the jurisdiction of the Oakland Unified School District. It is one of six comprehensive public high school campuses in Oakland. Oakland Tech's attendance jurisdiction includes several neighborhoods, including Oakland Chinatown, Rockridge, North Oakland, and Temescal.

Frank Oz American actor and director

Frank Oz is an American actor, puppeteer, director, and producer. He began his career as a puppeteer, performing the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle in The Muppet Show, and Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street. He is also known for the role of Yoda in the Star Wars series, providing the voice for the character in several films and television series.


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.

Lillian Two Blossom]] (1988) ISBN   0-399-21470-4

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1988.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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.

Other media

Literary Awards

1990 Babushka’s Doll
1992 Chicken Sunday (Nov. 14th 1992 declared Chicken Sunday)
1991 Some Birthday
1997 Video/Dream Keeper
1998 Thank You, Mr. Falker

Articles written about Polacco

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  1. Connecting Holidays and Literature by Deborah Plona Cerbus, Rice/Cer, Cheryl Feichtenbiner Rice Teacher Created Materials, 1992, p94
  2. Patricia Polacco profile Archived 2009-07-08 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed July 7, 2015.
  3. The Trees of the Dancing Goats Archived 2012-04-19 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed July 7, 2015.
  4. The Polacco Farm Archived March 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine .; accessed July 7, 2015.
  5. 1 2 Who Am I? Archived 2006-06-14 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed July 7, 2015.
  6. "School Historical Archive". Patricia Barber Polacco ’62. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  7. 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced by AJL, January 21, 2014