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Thank You, Mr. Falker
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Thank You, Mr. Falker

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  16,865 ratings  ·  1,205 reviews
The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age.

Patricia Polacco is now one of America's most loved children's book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at wor
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 4th 1998 by Philomel Books
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Finley Partee Eric bullied her because she had a reading disability. While everyone else learned to read at age 5 or 6, she couldn't even read in the 4th grade.…moreEric bullied her because she had a reading disability. While everyone else learned to read at age 5 or 6, she couldn't even read in the 4th grade.(less)
Mallory Crandall why was she the girl in the book? on the last page
why was she the girl in the book? on the last page

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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  16,865 ratings  ·  1,205 reviews

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Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all teachers; every child who’s ever had a challenge learning anything; everybody
I sobbed all the way through this book. Literally.

I hope that every teacher and tutor and parent reads this book. Oh, if/when I do any more tutoring I’ll definitely use this book. I wish I’d known about it before now. I had no difficulty learning to read, although I did not learn until I was taught; I wasn’t a reading prodigy, but I’ve known many kids who have had various challenges learning to read.

This is Patricia Polacco’s story about herself as a young girl and how it was (finally in fifth
Another special teacher features in this moving story based on the childhood of Patricia Polacco. Struggling to learn to read and finding it impossible Patricia is bullied and tries to hide the fact she doesn't understand until her teacher notices that she needs extra help with reading due to her dyslexia but also notices her amazing talent for drawing.

This is a lovely story and would be a very inspiring read for someone who struggled with something others find easy.

Read on open library.

Boy, am I on the roll with reading various by none other than Patricia Polacco herself! This time, Patricia Polacco writes an autobiographical book called “Thank you, Mr. Falker” where it details the life of a young girl named Trisha who struggles with learning how to read and how an inspirational teacher named Mr. Falker tries to help her read. “Thank you, Mr. Falker” is certainly one of the most memorable children’s books to be created for children who also have trouble learning how to read.

Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa--thank you!
This is a beautiful, inspiring, touching and sweet-as-honey story about Tricia (young Patricia Polacco herself!) and her struggles with dyslexia in the 1950s/60s before it was a widely recognized condition. Highly recommended!

Tricia is so eager to learn to read, her fabulous and wise grandparents show her how sweet and special reading--and the knowledge gained from books--can be. But when she struggles and struggles at school and can't make headway, she begins to despair, to be tea
I am such a huge fan of Patricia Polacco, and this book is one of my favorites! The author has written and illustrated a semi-autobiographical story about her issues in school (academic and social), and although she excelled in art (she illustrates her own books!), one particular teacher recognized her struggles and assisted her to eventually believe in herself. This book is her "thank you" to her school teacher, George Felker (his real name). This was often the first book I would read to my Gra ...more
I discovered this book just today and cried like a baby on the last couple of pages. I was lucky; reading came early and easy to me, but this child's struggle to read could be applied to any struggle and most readers will quickly identify and relate. The illustrations of the anguish of this child and the tribute to the teacher who finally identified the dyslexia are heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time. A must-read for every human. ...more
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful children's book. Wonderful illustrations. I choked up every time I read it to my first graders. No matter how many times I read it.

Thank You, Mr. Falker is autobiographical. It's the true story of how this award-winning author-illustrator learned to read. The book is a tribute to Mr. Falker, her teacher -- the one who FINALLY took the time to help a persecuted little Patricia overcome her dyslexia (or whatever it was that caused such tremendous reading difficulties).

The book is also
Cindy Minnich
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautiful I don't feel the slightest bit silly sitting here with tears running down my face at the public library. ...more
Lovely true story about a girl who struggles to learn to read and the teacher who finally helps her. My youngest sister didn't learn to read until she was ten, and I thank the good Lord every time I read something like this that she wasn't in school. As a home schooler, I think it was just kind of disappointing for her that she didn't learn when her older sisters had, but had she been in school, I think she would have had a miserable time. And since she's now a very intelligent adult who gets be ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This was an amazing story and earns a rare 5 star rating from me. It is a true story and depicts the alienation, fear, bullying and shame that children with learning disorders experience. Poor Trisha lived through a torturous five years of Elementary school before finding a teacher who knew how to help her overcome her disabilities and "unlocked the door and pulled [her] into the light."

I've read a few of her stories and really liked them, but this one was amazing! And the fact that it was auto
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2008
I had heard about the "honey on a book" part of this story before reading it, and the librarian in me thought, "No! Don't encourage people to put sticky honey on a book! Enough sticky things get on books without a cute story to encourage it." But at least the story makes it clear that they are putting honey on their own book and not a library book! :)

That said, I really loved this book. It's a wonderful tribute to teachers and the impact they can have on the lives of their students. It's even mo
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched and listened to this story on storyline online, a website where children's books are read by actors. Having read this book previously and loved it, I was curious to see if I would enjoy the audio/visual version. It held up pretty nicely. The pacing was even and not too slow, it was read with expression and the captions would be helpful for beginning readers. It was about 16 minutes long and showed the illustrations from most of the pages. I saved the website's address to use for the fu ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
We all want to be "that" teacher, the one who makes a difference in a child's life by supporting them through learning. We all want to be a Mr. Falker.

Trisha never learned to read, and now that she is in fifth-grade, it has become a bigger problem than ever. When new teacher, Mr. Falker, takes over her class, he uncovers her secret and helps her overcome her challenge to become a reader.

This story is a reminder that children fall through the cracks without the dedication of good, perceptive te
Alison Strandell
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Polacco writes about such meaningful real-life experiences. We all have strengths and challenges. Work hard and never give up!
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young Readers With Learning Disabilities & the Adults in Their Lives
Acclaimed children's author and artist Patricia Polacco draws on her own youthful experience with dyslexia in this autobiographical picture-book, perfectly capturing both the anguish of a young person who wants to learn, and is made to feel stupid because of her disability, and the incredible difference an understanding teacher can make to a struggling student. Taught to revere books, and the stories they contain, young Trisha looks forward to the day when she too learns to read. But when she fi ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful biographical book about Patricia, who was a born artist, but felt she was stupid because she had trouble reading. Mr Falker, a sensitive teacher realized he problem and he worked with her until she could read. Now Patricia is the author and illustrator af many beautiful picture books. If you aren't familiar with them, take a look at some of them. ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my word.....what a beautiful heart tugging story. This is a must read for "ALL" families, parents, teachers, baby-sitter's...etc. Patricia Polacco truly bares all by writing about herself in the story titled
Thank you, Mr. Falker. The story is about a young girl, Trisha (Patricia Polacco) whom was blessed with the talent for drawing beautiful pictures yet struggled with learning how to read though she desperately wants to, and how her grandparents share with Trisha how sweet reading is as wel
In Thank you, Mr. Falker (1998) renowned author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, draws heavily from her own experience as a child who struggled to read. Her tale is at once tender, at times heartbreaking, and ultimately triumphant. The reader meets Trisha, the protagonist, in one of the earliest scenes in her reading life—those fleeting moments between wanting to read, not knowing how to read, and believing that, as the narrator says, “the promise to read was at last hers… [that] soon she was ...more
Sue Seligman
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher of children with special needs since the late 1970s, I have to say that I loved this book. When I first read this book several years ago, I was moved to tears. The story of a little girl who is so excited to learn how to read, and who, when the time comes, just cannot put the sounds and letters together, exemplify the struggles so many children deal with on a daily basis. When I first entered the field of special education, there were an abundance of theories on how to reach these c ...more
(NS) Dana
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Thank you, Mr. Falker is about a young girl and her struggle with having a learning disability and the experiences she faces. Tricia, a struggling student, has always had a difficult time reading. This caused her years of being teased by her classmates as well as much sadness. Once Tricia is in fifth grad her family moves to California, where her life changes when she meets her amazing teacher, Mr. Falker. This teacher is determined to help Tricia succeed in reading and boost her self-esteem. Th ...more
Based on the author/illustrator's own experiences as a child, this picture book is a loving tribute to the patience of teachers who try to meet the needs of all their students. The main character loved books and words as a child, and she can't wait to read them for herself, something heralded when her grandmother spoons out honey on the top of a book and describes the sweetness of knowledge. But the sweetness of reading eludes Tricia as the letters seem to jumble up together. When her classmates ...more
Paige Clarke
Thank You, Mr. Falker is about a girl named Trisha who has just moved to a new place. She is not very good at reading aloud to the class, and becomes extremely self-conscious about it because she is teased. One day, Mr. Falker her teacher asks her to stay after school. They work on all these activities that help develop Trisha into a much better reader. They also unveil that Trisha has dyslexia, which is why she had all that trouble in the first place.

This book is written from an insider's pers
Author: Patricia Polacco
Publisher and Date: Philomel Books, 1998

Summary: Trisha loves stories but when she gets to first grade she realizes reading isn’t so easy. She gets teased for not being a good reader. In fifth grade, Mr. Falker comes along and gives Trisha attention, which only makes Eric treat her worse than before. With help from Mr. Falker after school, Trisha finally learns how to read.

Review: This is one of my favorite stories! It reminds me of why I wanted to become a teacher. More
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful book explaining how children develop their reading and math skills at different paces. The girl in this book struggles with reading, writing, math, and other subjects in school. She has a hard time putting the numbers and words together. She goes through many years of her life being teased by other students and being ignored by her teachers. Once she meets Mr. Falker, her world is changed.
This book is powerful to me because it explains really well how the kids feel when they
Kacie Blakley
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best teachers are the ones who persist until they see every child succeed, no matter what is hindering them in their education. Trisha is a student who struggles greatly with reading fluently, but is an amazing artist. None of her teachers knew how to train Trisha to read until she reached the fifth grade and was in Mr. Falker's class. This patient man, through creative means, teaches Trisha how to read and changes her life forever. This excellent book not only teaches to never give up on yo ...more
Jennifer Tarr
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This autobiographical story is about Patricia Polacco, her teacher Mr. Falker, and how he identified her dyslexia and worked with her to improve her reading skills. The pictures clearly capture a young girl's frustration and embarrassment at the beginning...and her growing confidence and accomplishment at the end. The words convey the author's honest voice. It is especially triumphant at the end when the reader learns that the author of this very childrens book (and many others) had trouble read ...more
Isabelle Lovejoy
This book was a story that was emotional in a sense that it really made me feel for the little girl in the book. There is no confirmation of her having dyslexia (or something of the sort), but it describes what its like to struggle to that extent with such a terrible struggle, and feel so lonely. The message I got from it as a future teacher is not only to have a caring heart, but to also be patient and understanding with every single one of my students, as well as help them succeed and challeng ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mentor-texts
You can't lose with Patricia Polacco! What an incredible story of the power of teacher and the power of being able to access knowledge. Mr. Falker is the kind of teacher I want to be. He truly cares about his students and notices them as individuals, with real struggles. He helps a young student become a confident reader by showing her that she has value and strength. An uplifting story, struggles that many people can relate to. ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it at school for the beginning of a writing project. I get all the amazing reviews - teachers at school LOVE this book. I had never read it. It was sweet, a little sappy, teaches a great lesson. I get it... Just not going to cry my way through as so many others seemed to have done.

And was behind on my reading challenge. This is a book - I read it. Put it on the board!
Ellen Allerton
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A crowd pleaser for later elementary school. This book is also near and dear to my heart as I was a slow reader in elementry school. I always warn whom ever I am reading it to that I always cry at the end of this book, no matter how many times I read it.
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Patricia Polacco is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator with around seventy beloved and award-winning books to her credit, including The Keeping Quilt, Pink and Say, The Blessing Cup, Chicken Sunday, and Thank You, Mr. Falker. She resides in Michigan.

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