Patricia Polacco’s, “The Junkyard Wonders,” based on her life story, is an inspirational picture of a child’s possibilities not disabilities. Young Tricia anticipated a fresh start at her new school. Her past reputation of being in special classes couldn’t possibly follow her all the way to Michigan. But on her first day, just her room assignment elicited knowing glares from her peers. Mrs. Peterson, her teacher, skipped introductions and began the year letting each classmate know she is a genius. Divided into tribes, the kids banded together developing a bond that even the bullies couldn’t sever. A trip to the local junkyard demonstrated that they weren’t “throwaway kids” but “Every one of you is a wonder!” Gathering junkyard treasures, each tribe collected others’ throwaways to make something new and amazing. Rallying around Gibbie and his restored airplane, the group worked to get it airborne. The class’s determination, bring this story to an end, but perhaps the most cherished part of this book is the last note, celebrating the amazing success of each member of Patricia’s tribe.
Recommended age: 6-9 years