Reviews for Silent Star : The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy

Booklist Reviews 2012 June #1
In a dramatic opening scene, this picture-book biography recounts a brilliant play by outfielder William Hoy and the subsequent crowd reaction--cheers followed by confetti and the waving of arms and hats, visually expressing their appreciation to Hoy, who was deaf. Describing his struggles with illness-induced deafness and his remarkable nineteenth-century baseball career, this also gives a sensitive explanation for his nickname "Dummy." Succinctly told, the biography provides both a vivid sense of the time and the obstacles confronting Hoy. Realistic, period illustrations, rendered in oil on paper, exhibit as much research as the text. Additional information appears in the afterword. Along with attracting baseball fans, this perceptive portrait of an athlete overcoming a physical disability will also enrich curricula. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Wise's biography covers Hoy's whole life, including the attack of meningitis that left him deaf at age three, and celebrates the courage and determination it took for Hoy to make it to the major leagues in 1888. Oil illustrations complement the text nicely, providing historical details that will put readers in the games alongside Hoy, imagining the cheers from the stands that Hoy never heard.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
At a time when deaf people were routinely called "Dummy," William Hoy accepted and owned the nickname proudly. He had become deaf as a result of meningitis and endured loneliness and isolation before attending a school for the deaf, learning American Sign Language and joining the school baseball team. Starting on an amateur team and moving into professional baseball in the minor leagues, he used ingenuity and acute observation to overcome difficulties in following umpires' calls and to anticipate possible plays in every situation. He played for 14 years with several major league teams, racking up solid statistics and several fielding records. Fans tossed confetti and waved arms, hats and handkerchiefs to let him know that they were cheering for him. When he faced a deaf pitcher in a historic game in 1902, each signed recognition of the other's remarkable achievements. Employing rich descriptive language with just the right combination of drama and information, Wise emphasizes Hoy's steadfastness and determination in his baseball exploits and in every endeavor before and after his career. Gustavson's sharply detailed illustrations, rendered in oil on paper, follow the text faithfully and offer glimpses into the look and feel of life and baseball in the19th century. Line sketches of baseball action and hand signals fill the endpapers. A fascinating introduction to a little-known hero. (author's note, sources, afterward) (Picture book/biography.6-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #1

In this rousing picture-book biography of William Ellsworth Hoy (1862-1961), one of the first deaf players in major league baseball, Wise follows Hoy from his childhood in Houcktown, Ohio (he was left deaf at age three after a meningitis infection), through his chance discovery by an amateur league coach and his ascent into the minor leagues and beyond. Wise outlines the hardships and prejudices Hoy encountered at every turn ("ost people thought he would fail. They believed big league baseball was no place for a man who could not hear or talk"), but Hoy's determination cuts through all the doubt he faced, and some of the records he set stand to this day. As he did in Yankee at the Seder, Gustavson demonstrates a gift for bringing a historical setting to life in his soft, skillfully composed oil paintings. Ages 6-11. Illustrator's agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Apr.)

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