Patricia Polacco is another author I was introduced to as an adult. The first book of hers I read was Thank You, Mr. Falker, which I read in graduate school. It is a beautiful story about a wonderful teacher who recognizes the troubles young Trisha is having in his fifth grade classroom and teaches her to read.
I cried when I read it. I cry when I read almost any Polacco book. The one that makes me cry the most is Pink and Say.
If you haven't read Pink and Say, do yourself a favor. Find a copy of the book, and then find a private space. Bring Kleenex! It takes place during the Civil War, but it's about so much more than that. It's a heartbreaking friendship story, it's another tale about learning to read, and it's a powerful testament to stories and the impacts they have on people's lives.
Many of Polacco's stories are like that. They are stories from her life or ones that have been passed down through her family. Every time I read one I am struck by her life and family and all the stories they have lived. Her books make me think about my own family stories.
How would I write a book about some of the tales I've heard from my family? How would you?