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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One Handed Catch by M. J Auch

One-Handed Catch
"One Handed Catch" is the story of an eleven year old boy named Norm. He loves baseball and wants to be an artist.
World War II has just ended. Life is starting to get back to normal.
Norm works in his parents grocery store whenever they need his help, which is quite often now that food is more available and people have a little more money to spend.
It is July 4, 1946 and Norm is working in his father's store when his best friend Leon comes in and asks Norm to come after work and play with fireworks. Norm knows that his parents would not be happy but "what they don't know won't hurt." Norm is asked to grind some meat for his dad and he tells his Leon that he will meet him later. He gets the grinder, puts the meat in but it is running very slow. Norm puts his hand in the grinder to see if anything is stuck and finds that he can't get his hand out. Norm screams and his dad comes running to see what was wrong. His dad tells someone to call the doctor. Everyone around was yelling and wanting to help. No one could get his hand out and the doctor said that they would have to operate.
When Norm wakes up in the hospital he does not realize that his hand had to be cut off. His father is so upset that he can't talk or be around Norm. He is feeling guilty for having told Norm to use the meat grinder. But Norm thinks he isn't coming to see him because he is mad at him.
When Norm comes home from the hospital his mother tells him that he still has chores to do and has to go to school. Norm is upset that is mother isn't feeling sorry for him.
Norm get's a gift of a baseball glove and wants to learn to play baseball again. No one feels that he can do this, including his mom and dad. They want him to go to school and study hard. Norms' mom tells the teachers not to be easy on him. Not only is Norm having a hard time with his little sister bothering him, but now the teachers want him to do his homework, and his parents still want him to work in the store.
Will he ever be able to play baseball in school? What are all the kids saying about him with one arm. Will he have to get a hook to be able to do things?
I really liked this book. At first I thought it might be for boys, but I think this book is a great book for boys or girls. There is a lot going on in Norms life and it was really interesting to see how Norm was going to handle all of it.

I really liked this book too. Norm has to come to terms with a sudden disability, and make the most of what he has left. He overcame his problem both physically and mentally. How many of us could have done as well in the same circumstance? This is a must read, I think, because the story is about emotional growth and perserverance. I liked how his mother didn't cave, but encouraged Norm to adapt, even though she knew he would, and could, be bitter toward her because of her stand. Sometimes we must take the hard road to be truly successful
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