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Children's LiteraturePeg Leg Bates, the subject of this book, was a real man born on a sharecropper farm in South Carolina. His mother was so poor, even though she worked day and night in the hot sun planting and picking cotton, that she was seldom able to provide her son Clayton with shoes. By age 5 Clayton had to help in the fields, but what he really loved to do was dance. He used to earn pennies dancing barefoot in barbershops around town, but when he was 12 years old, he had to go to work in a cotton factory to help support the family. He had been working there only three days when his left leg was caught in the cotton gin and had to be amputated. During his recovery he used two broom sticks to get around, but one day his uncle carved him an artificial leg, a peg leg, and it was not long before he started dancing again. There was no stopping him; he danced in vaudeville, in movies and even on the Ed Sullivan television show. Eventually he opened his own supper club in upstate New York where he continued to dance for his customers. Author Barrasch's illustrations bring the story to life for young readers. This book about a remarkable black man and his triumph over adversity would be an excellent addition to any elementary school library. 2004, Lee and Low Books, Ages 6 to 8.