Author Patricia Polacco
Author Patricia Polacco has written and illustrated 115 picture books for children. Her books situate a wide range of topics including personal narratives, the Holocaust, the Civil War, bullying, and her own experience in a special education classroom. You can learn more about Patricia Polacco by visiting her website. It is patriciapolacco.com.
In her autobiographical text The Junkyard Wonders, Mrs. Peterson, Patricia's teacher when she was a student in a self-contained special education class, offered a definition of genius. She asserted, "Genius is neither learned nor acquired. It is knowing withoout experience. It is risking without fear of failure. It is perception without touch. It is understanding without research. It is certainty without proof. It is ability without practice. It is invention without limitations. It is imagination without boundaries. It is creativity without constraints. It is...extraordinary intelligence!" Mrs. Peterson welcomed everyone to the junkyard. She asked everyone to write the definition and post it on their mirrors to look at every day. She told them to memorize it because the definition described every one of her students. Included on the book jacket at the end of her book, Patricia shared that, "Mrs. Peterson opened her mind while pushing her to her fullest potential and changed her life. It was then she learned that being "regular" did not make you smarter or better. In fact, Patricia met real genius right there in Mrs. Peterson's junkyard."