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cummingsj16

cummingsj16

Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco's book, Thank you, Mr. Falker, holds a very special place in my heart as a future teacher. The book is based off of true events that took place in the life of Polacco, herself, growing up. It addresses criticial issues seen in schools across the world, such as bullying or reading difficulties. Trisha, the central character of the story, craves the sweet knowledge of how to read, but she is different than most students. She suffers major difficulties in reading and begins to fall behind all of the other students. About midways through the book, she loses both of her grandparents, who were her biggest supporters in the work. The other students also begin to pick on her, calling her dumb for not knowing how to read. When her grandparents pass away, her family decides to move. For Trisha, she hopes this will give her a new opportunity to not be bullied; however, things are much worse at her new school. A boy in her class, Eric, is relentless about degrading her in class. It's not until the school gets a new teacher, Mr. Falker, that Trisha is able to see hope in the future of her reading. This book covers a diverse amount of topics that should be addressed within the classroom. Its lexile reading level is AD650L, and it can be read by most students who are ages six through nine. Honestly, I feel as though this book should also be read in the middle and high school setting. This presents a way for teachers to talk about bullying within the school and in the classrooms. Aside from bullying, this book allows the teacher to talk openly about how all students are different when it comes to reading. Some students can be considered advanced readers, and others are considered struggling readers. The teacher can highlight this very aspect by simply reading about the classrooms that Trisha was in throughout the story. The teacher could also use this book to talk about how some students can suffer loss within their families. Students could have a death in their family, or maybe they are having to move schools and make changes. This book is full of endless opportunities to talk about these issues within the classroom. In my classroom, I would definitely want to use this book to address bullying. I would read the book with my class, and then students could organize either group skits or maybe even a class skit to show the implications of bullying in school.