I am pleased to introduce to you today, our mother and daughter guest reviewers: Hilary and Esther (8).
Hilary is the blogger behind, Wholesome Reads, a blog site dedicated to providing book reviews, recommendations, and links to good clean books for the whole family. We also sell books through our used book store. Please take a moment to visit Hilary and her wonderful blog Wholesome Reads to say a quick hello.
About the Book
Title: Thank You, Mr. Falker | Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco | Publication Date: April 12, 2012 | Publisher: Philomel | Pages: 40 | Recommended Ages: 6+ | Reviewed by: Hilary and Esther, 8 (Mother & Daughter)
Summary: Patricia Polacco’s bestselling book – with over 400,000 copies sold – Thank You, Mr. Falker celebrates what a good teacher can be. And now her heartwarming tribute to the teacher who changed her life is available in a special unjacketed mini edition that makes the perfect gift for both kids needing encouragement and the teachers who are their heroes.
When Trisha starts school, she can’t wait to learn how to read, but the letters just get jumbled up. She hates being different, and begins to believe her classmates when they call her a dummy. Then, in fifth grade, Mr. Falker changes everything. He sees through her sadness to the gifted artist she really is. And when he discovers that she can’t read, he helps her prove to herself that she can – and will!
1. What is the story about? It’s about a girl who can’t read.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book (if applicable)? The pictures were nice. Some of them were funny.
3. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? Do you like them? How are they like you or not? Trisha is the main character. She is like me a little bit because sometimes I have trouble reading.
4. Have you experienced anything in your life like what happens in this book? What happened? Not really, because no one has made fun of me because I have trouble reading. She was in a pretty bad predicament.
5. What is your favorite part of the story? The end is nice when she learns to read and she sits in the window hugging her book.
6. What is your least favorite part of the story? It was sad when the boy makes fun of her and she has to hide from him.
7. How did the story make you feel? I was happy when she did learn to read, so she wouldn’t be made fun of anymore.
8. What lessons did you learn from this story? Not to make fun of people, and hard work pays off!
9. Who do you think would like this book? I would recommend it to my friends. They are mostly all girls, so I would recommend it to them.
Daughter's Rating: ★★★★☆
What It’s About? Thank You, Mr. Falker is a lovely true story about ten year old Trisha (Patricia Polacco) who cannot read in the fifth grade. She is from a literate family who values learning, so she feels the shame of being “different.” When her family moves to a new town, the other students ridicule Trisha for her “baby reading.” She is humiliated and ashamed of her inability – even hiding from her classmates at recess to avoid the embarrassment. Enter Mr. Falker – the new fifth grade teacher. Not only does he rescue Trisha from her enemies, he gives her a great gift in the process. Hope. Through hard work and diligence, with lots of patience and understanding, Mr. Falker helps Trisha learn to read. Many years later, she meets him at an event. After reminding him of who she is, she gives him the jewel that crowns this very sweet book – “Thank you, Mr. Falker.”
My Thoughts: This delightfully illustrated book is a very meaningful read for young and old readers alike. It serves as an encouragement to anyone who faces a difficulty in learning, or who helps others overcome their challenges. Any educator can relate to the empathy Mr. Falker demonstrates when Trisha can’t “get it.” And poor Trisha! Who doesn’t feel her anxiety when the years roll by and she is still not reading fluently? This book is a wonderful example of compassion, diligence, patience and subsequent victory for the aspiring reader. When the words begin to “march across the page” as Trisha describes her experience, the reader wants to cheer aloud for our little heroine! Well done, Patricia Polacco!. And well done, Mr. Falker!
My Bottom Line: Thank You, Mr. Falker is a wonderful read for any reader – young or old, boy or girl, who enjoys a real-life success story. With a bit of imagination, any student or true teacher of young children can find a point of empathy in this book. Such a sweet, encouraging read! Highly recommended!
Mom's Rating: ★★★★★
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