When Trisha begins kindergarten, she is excited. Excited to learn new things, meet new people, but most of all, she is excited to learn to read. But Trisha doesn’t see the letters on the page like the other kids, and they soon begin to leave her behind. She goes through kindergarten without reading, and also first grade. All the other kids can read real books now, but Trisha can’t even sound out a sentence. She begins to hate school, and becomes easy prey for bullies. It goes on like this for a long time. Trisha enters fifth grade, and still she can’t read. But when she enters fifth grade, she gets a new teacher. When he finds out she can’t read, he doesn’t gloss over it like her other teachers have. Instead, he decides to help. From defending her from bullies to teaching her letters, Mr. Falker is a hero to Trisha.
What’s more, he’s a real life hero. This book is autobiographical, and tells a story from Patricia Polacco’s childhood. For Patricia, Mr. Falker (or Felker as he is in real life) changed her life and gave her the gift of reading, and this beautiful, moving book is her tribute to him.
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