Silent Star

By Publisher's Weekly

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 (“[M]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.