Winner - 2017 Storytelling World Resource Award Honor Book Finalist - 2017 North Texas Book Festival Best Children's Books All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires' calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William “Dummy" Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!The William Hoy Story is also on several book lists: 2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017 Texas 2x2 Reading List 2017 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List 2017 Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College 2017-2018 Charter Oak Children's Book Award List (Connecticut) 2017-2018 Kennebec Valley Book Award List 2018 Illinois Monarch Award Master List 2018-2019 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice List
About the Author
Nancy Churnin writes a weekly column about kids' entertainment and is the theater critic for the Dallas Morning News. She also writes a special needs parenting blog. She lives in Texas. Jez Tuya is a self-taught illustrator who grew up in the Philippines. He lives in New Zealand.
Read an Excerpt
The William Hoy Story
How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game
By Nancy Churnin
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 2016 Nancy Churnin
All rights reserved.
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. Bam! He hit the mark. He stepped back so he could try again.
His mother waved her arms. She was applauding him.
She touched her fingers to her mouth to signal eating. He read her lips as she said, "Dinner."
William pulled out his pad and pencil. He scribbled:" Just a few more? I want to be perfect for tryouts."
His mother nodded.
His family was passing the mashed potatoes around the table when William pushed open the door. He read his father's lips telling him to wash up for dinner. He also read what his father's lips mouthed to his mother.
"Baseball," his father said, shaking his head. "It will never last."
Still, William couldn't wait to try out at his school, the Ohio State School for the Deaf. At tryouts, he threw the ball. He caught it. He batted. He waited.
"Too small," the team captain said.
William never got much taller than five-foot-five. He couldn't do anything about that.
But maybe they'd give him another chance if he aimed better and ran faster.
So every day, after homework and chores, he practiced.
"Hey, kid," the player called. "Want to join us?"
The man ran to William and tapped his back to get his attention. William whirled around, and this time, when the man repeated the question, he understood. He scrambled happily to the outfield.
Excerpted from The William Hoy Story by Nancy Churnin. Copyright © 2016 Nancy Churnin. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
William Ellsworth Hoy has long been a hero of the Deaf community – a record-setting baseball player who played for multiple National League teams and changed the way that baseball was played. Churnin’s approachable text and Tuya’s expressive illustrations take readers along with William’s struggles to be taken seriously by the hearing world - which, in the 1880s, didn’t believe a deaf player could amount to much. William proves the critics wrong through determination, grit, and talent, and soon teams and fans are clamoring for him. Many biographies of Hoy get hung up on his nickname, “Dummy”, which was a common term applied to deaf people at the time, but Churnin wisely keeps the focus on Hoy’s accomplishments throughout the story, saving such details, with contextualizing comments, for an informative afterward. A timeline of Hoy’s life offers more details for baseball lovers.
Terrific story, well told, with something of interest for all ages.
Perfect for elementary school readers – especially with baseball season coming up! – this is the true story of how William Hoy, a deaf young man in the late 1800s, used talent and determination to become one of Major League Baseball's star players. What makes the story more interesting, in my opinion, is that even before Hoy had to deal with fellow ballplayers and others teasing him because of his deafness, and telling him he wouldn't be able to succeed, he had other obstacles to overcome: his first rejection came because he was too short, and too slow, and didn't have a strong enough throwing arm! The book ends with a list of his achievements playing for eight different teams over a 15-year career.