An A From Miss Keller written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco (2015)
Young Patricia is scared to death of the dreaded Killer Keller as everyone called the hardest teacher in the school. Nothing she wrote was good enough for Miss Keller. Patricia’s next door neighbor, old Pop the baker, agreed that she was one tough cookie! Patricia went to Pop for many assignments, but she never got higher than a C on her papers. One afternoon, while the neighborhood kids were baking in Pop’s kitchen, he told them a story about Miss Keller. A story about how she had inspired his son to become a writer and had helped him get through college. No matter how tough she was, Miss Keller was still a hero to Pop. Then one day, just before her final assignment was due, Pop died. Patricia felt like the sun had left the sky. For her personal essay, she wrote a story about Pop. This was the one that finally earned her an A.
This book is definitely written for the older picture book reader. In her personal style, Patricia Polacco has once again captured the essence of a childhood memory and shared it with her fans. I’m sure this piece will be an inspiration to many budding writers, artists, ball players, business men, waitresses, and doctors. No matter what you choose to do in life, work on your craft relentlessly. Find your mentors and learn everything you can from them. Never give up!