Knockin' On Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates

Written and illustrated by Lynne Barasch

Paperback: $10.95

Six Pack: $65.70

Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates was one of the legendary tap dancers of the twentieth century. As a young boy, Clayton loved to dance, but when he lost his left leg in a factory accident at age twelve, no one thought he would ever walk again, let alone dance. But Clayton's musical spirit was still alive. Soon he was dancing using crutches, then a peg leg. Within a short time his peg leg matched the dancing ability of his other leg.

Peg Leg Bates performed throughout the United States and Europe, winning the hearts of audiences with his unique style of dancing. He was an amazing showstopper and an inspiration to everyone he met. With determination and a love of life, he turned misfortune into triumph. His most lasting achievement might just be the extraordinary example he set for us all.

Lynne Barasch’s initial inspiration for Knockin’ on Wood came many years ago when she learned about Peg Leg Bates from her daughter’s tap dance teacher.

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Lynne Barasch - Author, Illustrator

has written and illustrated several award-winning books for children, including Knockin' on Wood, Hiromi's Hands, and First Come the Zebra, all three published by Lee & Low Books; and Radio Rescue, an ALA Notable Children’s Book and Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist selection. Barasch and her husband live in New York City. To find out more about Lynne Barasch, visit

About This Title


Paperback: 9781600609800

Hardcover: 9781584301707

Six Pack: 9781600609954


Starred Review
School Library Journal

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
National Council for the Social Studies/ Children's Book Council

Paterson Prize for Books for Young People
The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 5

Reading Level:

Grades 3 - 3


Nonfiction, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Overcoming Obstacles, History, Dreams & Aspirations, Discrimination, Dance, Disability, African/African American Interest, Biography/Memoir, Persistence/Grit, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Pride

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