No Easy Way
It's 1941 and Ted Williams is doing the "single most difficult thing to do in sports: to hit a round ball with a round bat and to be a .400 hitter, all the way." This is the summer before WWII and Ted's bat is hot. His batting average in June is .436. By August it was .402. Then, in September it rose to .413. Would he be able to hit .400 for the entire season? As the season came down to the end, Ted Williams' batting average crept down to .39955 which still qualified as .400 but now he had two games left to play and he had a big decision to make. Should he sit on the bench for those last two games and ensure his .400 average and all the recognition and excitement he would earn or should he play the last two games and risk losing the .400? This makes a great character question in a classroom. Peggy Jackson, Fred Bowen's wife, reads this book aloud to her students and then stops right at that question and asks them what they think he should do and why. Ted Williams did not take the easy way. Instead he chose to prove he could hit .400 for the entire season. What a great lesson and what a beautiful book. 32 pages Ages 5-9
Sports fans or not, kids of all ages will find this book a “catch”.A wonderful picture book that depicts the life and times of Ted Williams, “The Kid.”It is a story of a boy growing up in a very poor neighborhood who despite all odds through great determination, and hard work became one of the greatest baseball players of all times.
The author, Fred Bowen, provides his readers will a true inspirational story that teaches children the value of hard work and dedication.Don’t let this picture book fool you, its facts and information accurately depicts the life and times of this legend.The author provides references to his research and vintage photographs are provided by the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.Although this book is written for the independent reader, it will be appealing to children of all ages.The story is told in such a way that children will be engaged throughout the story, waiting to see if in fact, Williams can become a .400 hitter.Reluctant readers will find confidence in reading this biography because of its full color illustrations and small amount of text on most pages.
Artist, illustrator and realist painter, Charles S. Pyle provides breath-taking illustrators on full page color spreads that help depict the life and times of Ted Williams.The watercolor illustrators provides accurate and authentic details of the 1930s and 1940s which helps children to understand how life was in this time period.
There are many webquests on the topic of biography such as Who Life is it Anyway at http://www.besd61.k12.il.us/webquests/7th%20Grade/BIOGRAPHY%20WEBQUEST/biography_webquest.htm#top and Biography Card Trading Webquest at http://www.getworksheets.com/samples/webquests/biography.html and Biography webquest at http://www.rockingham.k12.va.us/jfhms/webquests/biographywebquest/Webquest.html .These inquiry-based lessons are great examples for any classroom teacher and librarian to collaborate on the genre of biographies.
Review by Deb Fagnan, Librarian at St. John’s AcademyHillsdale NJ