The first author we will discuss is Patricia Polacco, who struggled with learning disabilities and illiteracy until one special teacher changed her life.
Below is a link to the reading of her book, Thank You, Mr. Falker. The book is dedicated to the teacher who changed her life and helped her to become a reader.
Polacco has written and published over 60 books during her career.
Another author that struggled with learning disorders, but very popular with middle grades readers is Avi.
Avi was born in Manhattan on December 23rd, along with his twin sister. He had a learning disability, which made writing difficult, but a love of reading, storytelling, and a tutor made him want to write, which he eventually did after his children were born.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University, with a master's degree in library science, Avi's first book was Things That Sometimes Happen, published in 1970. When asked if he has another name, he replies "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." He received a Newbery Honor for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. In 2003, he was awarded a Newbery Medal for Crispin: the Cross of Lead. Avi and his wife live in Rhode Island.
Tomorrow we will read excerpts from Avi's and Polacco's writings, read their bios', discuss them, and relate their struggles to our own. Why is it that so many students do not feel confident in their reading and writing skills? How has that kept students from pursuing their dreams and affected their ability to achieve? How can teachers change that? How can students take control of their achievement and become confident writers?
My classes will explore all of these questions through reading, discussion, and writing.
I look forward to hearing my students' struggles, and learning how we, as teachers, can help them persevere through the difficult times, so that they can always be striving for excellence.