By Bill Wise
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
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.
BookTalk with author Bill Wise
Cooperative Children's Book Center
United Methodist Women
- Interest Level
- Grades 1 - 6
- Reading Level
- Grades 3 - 4
- Biography, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Disability, Discrimination, Dreams & Aspirations, Historical Interest, Overcoming Obstacles, Sports, Nonfiction, Sports History
Bill Wise is the author of Lee & Low’s Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer, winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award and the Children’s Book Award from the International Reading Association. An avid baseball fan, Wise first heard about William Hoy when he was a child. Years later, after further research, Wise was inspired to bring Hoy’s remarkable story to young readers in Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy. In addition to writing books, Wise teaches eighth-grade math and language arts. He and his family live in Gorham, Maine.
Adam Gustavson has illustrated more than twenty highly-praised books for children, among them The Yankee at the Seder, recipient of a Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor. In spite of his lack of baseball-playing skill, Gustavson enthusiastically embraced William Hoy’s story and spent months researching baseball rules, uniforms, and stadiums in use during Hoy’s lifetime. Gustavson is also a part-time art educator at the college level. He lives in West Orange, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons. His website is adamgustavson.com .