M. J. Auch masterfully crafts One Handed Catch with a mix of humor, tension, empathy, and excitement that will appeal to readers of all ages, readers who will be transformed by its powerful message. Her story of a terrible accident and its aftermath is told in the voice of the young athlete.
I was just a regular kid like you. My dream was to play baseball. I hoped to get a three-speed bicycle. On the Fourth of July, I planned to go shoot fireworks with my best friend, Leon. What happened instead transformed my hopes and dreams in an instant. My dad hollered at me to come lend him a hand in our butcher shop as I had often done. There, in a horrible accident, my left hand got stuck in the meat grinder.
My best friend, Leon, sneaked into the hospital to see me. He was the first one of us to look at it ... it was bandaged, but he measured it against my other arm and told me how much of my arm was left. My left hand was gone.
I knew I would never play baseball again. Even little things, like tying my shoes or sharpening my pencil, would become huge obstacles for me. I thought that at least it would get me out of taking out the trash and surely I wouldn't have to do homework because people would feel sorry for me.
I got creeped out when Dr. Zeigler called my arm a "stump." When he started talking to me about a one-armed baseball player who played in the major leagues, I wondered if I really might be able to play baseball again. Dr. Zeigler said, "The ones who succeed don't give themselves the option of failing. Whatever they attempt, they tell themselves they're going to be able to do. And they keep trying until they figure it out."
My mom set right to work to be sure no one would feel sorry for me! I was going to have to learn to do everything by myself with only one hand. Could I do it? How?
One-Handed Catch is the story of perseverance, friendship, determination and tough love. Set in 1946, you will see how the war that had transformed life in the United States was transforming those who followed. You will also see how friends and family became the transformers helped change the accident into the beginning of a creative new world.
The Kids Wings literature guide in PowerPoint and PDF was written by Suzy Red and includes the following activities:
Pre-reading Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide for analyzing how the story changes opinions
Chapter Questions and Title-Writing
Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities
Readers Theater Script
Brainstorming Abilities Over Disabilities
Creating a New Game
Research, Create, Present, Analyze
Transforming the Cover
Prices from the Past, a Logic Puzzle
An Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint
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