Polacco, Patricia. (1998). Thank You, Mr. Falker. New York: Philomel Books.
Patricia Polacco based this story off of her reading difficulties as a child. This story is quite similar to The Alphabet War, but in this story we see more of the bullying that can take place when being different is considered a bad thing. We also see a teacher become a true inspiration to a child named Trisha when she just about lost hope. In school, Trisha watches her fellow classmates read fast and clear, but she always needed support from her teacher on every word. This is when she saw herself as different because she felt “dumb.” Even though her Grandma assured her being different “is the miracle of life,” Trisha continued to get bullied because she could not read (n.p). So, Trisha had a hard time understanding that being different was a good thing. The one thing to truly appreciate about Polacco’s story was Mr. Falker. The illustration before Mr. Falker came into the picture is a struggle to see. Trisha completely broke down due to the teasing she was receiving. Mr. Falker recognized Trisha, complimented her for her strengths, and was there for her to help her through her weaknesses. He realized Trisha couldn’t read, but made a promise to her: “We’re going to change all that, girl. You’re going to read – I promise you that” (n.p). Sure enough, with a lot of work, Trisha slowly began learning how to read. All the Mr. Falker’s in the world deserve a huge thank you. Without them, those who struggle to read will think they are “dumb” and lose the will to learn. Mr. Falker shows the world that even though you may learn in a different way, that doesn’t change the ability you have to learn. Patricia Polacco wrote this book thanking Mr. Falker because now she is writing books for children. Picture book: Stories of characters with disabilities; JL.

Polacco, Patricia. (1998). Thank You, Mr. Falker. New York: Philomel Books.

Patricia Polacco based this story off of her reading difficulties as a child. This story is quite similar to The Alphabet War, but in this story we see more of the bullying that can take place when being different is considered a bad thing. We also see a teacher become a true inspiration to a child named Trisha when she just about lost hope. In school, Trisha watches her fellow classmates read fast and clear, but she always needed support from her teacher on every word. This is when she saw herself as different because she felt “dumb.” Even though her Grandma assured her being different “is the miracle of life,” Trisha continued to get bullied because she could not read (n.p). So, Trisha had a hard time understanding that being different was a good thing. The one thing to truly appreciate about Polacco’s story was Mr. Falker. The illustration before Mr. Falker came into the picture is a struggle to see. Trisha completely broke down due to the teasing she was receiving. Mr. Falker recognized Trisha, complimented her for her strengths, and was there for her to help her through her weaknesses. He realized Trisha couldn’t read, but made a promise to her: “We’re going to change all that, girl. You’re going to read – I promise you that” (n.p). Sure enough, with a lot of work, Trisha slowly began learning how to read. All the Mr. Falker’s in the world deserve a huge thank you. Without them, those who struggle to read will think they are “dumb” and lose the will to learn. Mr. Falker shows the world that even though you may learn in a different way, that doesn’t change the ability you have to learn. Patricia Polacco wrote this book thanking Mr. Falker because now she is writing books for children. Picture book: Stories of characters with disabilities; JL.