Friday Favorites: Finding Your Family’s Roots

American author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, based many of her children’s books on her own family history. Polacco published Fiona’s Lace in 2014. Inspired by her father’s family experience, this story follows the Irish immigrant experience from Ireland to America in the 19th century. Polacco has documented various immigrant experiences in The Keeping Quilt, Rechenka’s Eggs and Babushka’s Doll. These stories are inspired by her Georgian, Russian and Ukrainian Jewish relatives on her mother’s side, in particular by her grandmother.

Personal items such family recipes, letters, clothing, and photographs combined with official documents like census records, ship manifests, and naturalization papers can help family members piece together their family’s story. Recording family stories told aloud is a great way to preserve and share the past with generations to come.


Listen to Patricia Polacco talk about growing up listening to storytelling:

Listen to Fiona’s Lace read aloud:

Trace your family’s genealogy and create a family tree with activities from:

Topic: History
Age / Level: Primary, Elementary, Middle