One-Handed Catch , a book written for readers ages 10 and older, is the story of an 11-year old boy who loses his left hand in a tragic accident. "Through determination, hard work and creativity, he learns to do everything most kids do." The author, MJ Auch, borrowed the theme for this story from details of her husband's life.
Herm Auch was 12 years old and working in his parents' meat and food market in Putnam County, NY when one day, while grinding meat for customers, he caught his hand in the grinder. Surgery resulted in the amputation of his hand. "Once he realized his hand was gone, he says, he pouted, then adjusted."
"My mother never coddled me," Herm Auch says. "She wouldn't let me feel sorry for myself, so I grew up believing I could do anything."
An article, written by Barbara Livingston Nackman and appearing in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, details for us the inspiration behind the writing of this book. You can read it here before it's archived.
One-Handed Catch was nominated for the American Library Association's Schneider Family Book Award, which honors a work that deals with childhood disabilities. (The award went to The Deaf Musicians, by folk singer Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois Jacobs.)
* Thank you to Georgia for bringing this to our attention!*
Graphic: front cover of book shows young boy leaping into air to catch baseball.