Nugget: A young deaf man wants to play baseball, but others see his disability as an obstacle.
Need Enticement: William scooped dust to dry the sweat off his slick rubber ball. He stared at the small X he'd chalked on the barn wall. He closed his eyes. He opened them and threw.
I am hooked. I see the sweat, the dust, I feel it. I am closing my eyes and throwing. Nancy's use of action right from the start will grab you and pull you in.
Escalation: A solid beginning, middle and end.
As a teenager, how his family interacts with him and baseball and how his deaf school deals with his baseball ability.
Playing baseball as an adult in a "hearing world."
Satisfying Ending: All he'd wanted to do since he was a boy was find a way to play his favorite game. He never dreamed he'd change how the game was played. But he did, and we still cheer him today.
We are brought full circle, back to William playing the game he loves, and now the world loves him too. From the side of a barn to changing the game, we know that William made a difference.
Sources: Great back matter with additional information about William Hoy, a timeline and even his baseball stats. In the acknowledgments, the bibliography is woven in as a thank you to those who provided the information.
Show Words: Lost terms such as cobbler for shoe repair. Baseball terms: sure arm, National League, majors, and outfield. Cities: Oshkosh and Cincinnati. But my favorite, this is the perfect opportunity for children to learn some simple American sign language and spike their curiosity for more.
Why?: Baseball, America's sport. Who knew that we use umpire signals all because of one deaf player, and it has carried into football and basketball. The idea, that any one person can change something so HUGE as an entire sport is amazing.
Need and Want: William wants to play baseball. But, William truly needs others to understand that just because he is deaf, it should not stop him from doing what he loves.
Needless to say, I loved this story. I feel that it will work in classrooms for many topics from social studies (cities that William played for), language (American sign language), and mathematics (simple principal of three strikes).
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