MJ Auch's One-Handed Catch will appeal to many readers even non-baseball fans. Set right after WW II in a small town in New York, 6th grader Norm Schmidt loves playing baseball and drawing. His life takes a huge unexpected turn when he loses his left hand while working in his dad's grocery store. You would think that this would be a sad story but quite the contrary. Norm's story, based on true events that happened to the author's husband, is a realistic, funny journey that you will take with Norm and his friends Leon and Carl. There is plenty about baseball, drawing, life at school, scouting and family. You will learn a lot about post-war America but many of Norm's feelings and experiences will ring true for you today. You will cheer Norm's determination. You will relate to his frustrations and then understanding about his mom, his dad and his sister, and ultimately about himself.
There are a lot of Gary Paulsen fans out there. You are use to his wonderful style and ability to get you right into the story no matter the setting or the characters, or the genre. With Woods Runner you will be transported to the American Revolution where 13 year old Samuel lives in wilderness Pennsylvania. The war seems very distant and unimportant to teenage Samuel until his parents are attacked and kidnapped by British and Iroquois soldiers. Samuel's life is turned upside down but his natural tracking abilities and love of his family drive him to risk everything to find them. Unlikely friends and alliances develop over the course of his journey that brings him to British occupied New York city. Fast paced, rich in detail, and gripping action will keep you turning pages while experiencing war through the eyes of this young boy. Each chapter is separated by short informational pieces about aspects of the Revolution most history classes fail to mention. Do not skip them or Gary Paulsen's brief author's note at the beginning of the novel that explains why he included them. If you are not yet a Gary Paulsen fan now is your chance to change that. This book is available in the LTC in paper and at the Winnetka Library in paper, ebook, audio CD and podcast.