Friday, May 1, 2015

My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother  
 By Patricia Polacco

I find Patricia Polacco’s personal story is very inspirational. She keeps on inspiring through her art work and her incredible ability to share a story.

Book Talk
In this narrative memoir of Patricia’s real life, childhood relationship with her older brother, we experience a sibling relationship/rivalry that many readers will be able to relate to.   

No matter how hard Patricia tries to beat her brother in ‘competitions’ around the farm (who can eat the most blueberries, etc), he always wins and always  reminds her  that he’ll always be four years older than she….always.  This completely irritates Patricia—so she sets out to think up yet another contest between the two.

In addition to her brother just being a pain all the time, one of the things that REALLY upsets Patricia is that her brother is always very sweet around their grandmother, whom they call Babushka. Babushka, of course, loves her grandchildren equally, but senses Patricia’s growing irritation with her brother and tries to smooth it over.

A favorite line:
“Then an inspired thought comforted me like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day.”

The book ends with Patricia finally winning a competition, but faints and falls off a merry-go-round into a pile of pop bottles, badly cutting herself.  Her brother quickly comes to her rescue, carries her home for medical treatment and their relationship mends and deepens.

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Workshop strategies: Connecting, Predicting, Inferring, Summarizing
Writing Workshop:  Memoir, Narrative Writing, Elaboration
Grammar: Sentence fluency, quotation marks

Patricia Polacco’s website:

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