Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Priceless Polacco

 Time and time again her characteristic, artistic style will catch your eye.  Time and time again her words will make a mark on your heart.  Time and time again her message will give you pause.  It will change the way you think. There is no illustrator or author quite like Patricia Polacco.

Just In Time, Abraham Lincoln is her third book that gives readers a window into the American Civil War.  It was preceded first by  Pink and Say and followed by January's Sparrow.  Each of these tales has a distinctive approach as to what readers will take away regarding the events of this time in history.

In this newest book Polacco introduces us to Michael and Derek riding the Amtrak Limited on its way to Washington, D. C. with their Grandmother.  During a stop at Harpers Ferry they meet a good friend of hers, a Mr. Portufoy, director of the Civil War Museum.  After trying on Union uniforms he invites them to walk through a door into a game.

They are going to Antietam just after the battle.  Everything they encounter will be as if real.  They are not to tell anyone about who they really are or the time period from which they come.

 Mr. Portufoy gives them a gold watch cautioning them to return to the door one hour after the watch chimes before sunset.  They are swept into this historic game as assistants for the studio of renowned photographer Mathew Brady.   Before long they are gazing across the battlefield horrified by the pall of death which stretches as far as their eyes can see.

Realizing that somehow they have traveled back in time and this is real, the two boys are overwhelmed by fear and sadness.  It is President Lincoln that lends them comfort.  For this gesture of kindness they break a promise offering the President hope for a better future by producing a treasured keepsake from a pocket.

True to her gift as a storyteller, Patricia Polacco adds just the right twist at the end along with a letter to her readers offering more explanation about this Battle at Antietam.  I love your books, Patricia Polacco.  You feed your readers' souls.

Follow her web site above to gain further information about all her books and the upcoming Meteor Festival 2011 in Union City, Michigan.  This event most assuredly will be informative, interesting, inspiring and just plain fun.  Road trip!

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