Patricia Polacco "All of us have a 'voice' inside where all inspired thoughts come from. When I talk to children and aspiring writers, I always ask them to turn off the TV and listen to that voice inside them."

Patricia Barber Polacco was born on July 11th, 1944 in Lansing, Michigan. Her mother’s family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and The Ukraine. Her father's people were from The County of Limerick in Ireland. Both cultures valued and kept their history alive by storytelling. That is where Polacco gets a lot of inspiration to draw and write her books.

To this day, Polacco has written and illustrated over 115 books for children.

After living much of her life in urban Oakland, Patricia Polacco has now moved back to the family farm in Michigan. She lives in a renovated, old house, which also serves as an art and storytelling center for local children. In another old house, just one block away, Polacco has her own art studio, where she continues to create new children's books based on old family stories.

"I came from a family of incredible storytellers, but I didn't start writing children's books until I was 41 years old. Drawing, painting, and sculpture have always been a part of my life, though. My family always encouraged my drawing ability. Kids in school who teased me about my reading would get out of their seats and stand behind my desk as I worked and go, “Wow, you can really draw.”..."

Patricia has designed an anti bullying campaign that has earned her national recognition. She conducts school visits all over the country. She is known as a natural storyteller and is highly praised for her work with people of all ages.

The grief she had set her on a path of establishing a series of lectures designed to raise the awareness of the plight of our classroom teachers as well as encouraging students to reach out to each other and include those who are perceived to be "different".

The Teacher Who Changed Everything!

Throughout her school years, Polacco struggled with reading. Far behind her fellow classmates, she was teased enough to believe that she was just dumb. It wasn't until Polacco was 14 that a special high school teacher recognized her dyslexia. Once she received additional help, Polacco learned to read well and caught up with her peers. Her ability as an artist, however, had never been in question. Fellow classmates had always been impressed by her drawings.

Her book, "Thank you, Mr. Falker" is dedicated to the teacher who changed her world.

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