Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Silent Star

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy
Author: Bill Wise
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Publisher: Lee & Low
Publication Date: April, 2012
Genre/Format: Biography/Picture Book
Goodreads Summary: William Hoy loved baseball. Growing up in the 1860s and ’70s, he dreamed of one day playing in the major leagues. A far-off fantasy for many boys, fulfilling this dream was even more of a long shot for William, who was deaf.
     Striving to find his place in a hearing world, Hoy became a shoemaker. He took pride in his work, but baseball was still his real love. When an amateur team coach saw him playing behind the shoemaker’s shop, Hoy dazzled the coach with his hard-hitting skills. Moving from amateur clubs to the minor leagues and eventually to the majors, Hoy proved himself again and again—overcoming obstacles and becoming a star both on and off the baseball diamond.
     Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy is a tribute to one of the most inspirational figures in baseball history. A talented player with a standout record, Hoy is a shining example that success in life should not be measured by differences but by drive and determination.
What I Think: What a fascinating book! Silent Star shares with us not only an interesting part of baseball history, but also a look into the history of deafness and its acceptance within society. I find it fascinating that although Hoy is undisputedly one of the best outfielders of all time, he still is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame! How sad that the prejudice that he probably felt on a daily basis has rolled over into his legacy. Wise tells Hoyt's story with respect and Gustavson's oil illustrations beautifully accentuate the story. 
Read Together: Grades 3 to 8
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 10
Read With: Strong Deaf by Lynn McElfresh, Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino by Dan Shaughnessy, Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey, Play Ball by Nunzio DeFilippis, 
Snatch of Text: "The crowd erupted into cheers. Then the fans did something else, something they always did to show their appreciation when Hoy made a great play. They threw confetti up in the air and wildly waved their arms and hats and handkerchiefs. 
     The fans made such a visual commotion because William Hoy was deaf." (p. 5)
Mentor Text for: Vocabulary Development, Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: When William Hoy was a baseball player, his nickname was Dummy. At the time this nickname was not deragatory, but now using that term for one who is deaf is very much unacceptable. What other words have changed their meaning over time?; William Hoy overcame everything that stood in his way. Tell about a time that you were told you couldn't do something, but you did. 
Topics Covered: Deafness, Baseball, Prejudice, Civil Rights, Deaf Athletes
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