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One-Handed Catch

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,398 Ratings  ·  196 Reviews
Not even losing his hand can keep Norm from trying out for the baseball team

What would life be like with only one hand? That's exactly what eleven-year-old Norm finds out when he loses his left hand in an accident at his family's store. It's July 4, 1946. World War II has ended, and life is getting back to normal. But for Norm, the pressing question now is whether he will
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 08, 2014 Ali rated it really liked it
This is such a great book. The main character is endearing, funny and inspiring. I loved how he was loosely based on the author's husband. I kept going back to the photo of her husband near the front of the book and "seeing" him in the story! The plot is well paced and the characters are totally believable.Many themes could be explored reading this book:
1.the historical aspect of its setting( it is hard to find books for this reading level set in the 1950's)
2.the obvious hurdle of living in a wo
Andrew Zobal
I do not have the book with me.

This genre is sports. This book gives excellent description on what the character(Norm) thinks, feels, and sees. The setting for this book is at his house, at the baseball field, and at school. I enjoyed this book ver much, it met my criteria and I wish there was a sequal. Norm is like me because he thinks just because somethings happens to you,you think nothing good will come out of it. I recommend this book to anyone who likes sports.
Colin Hawkins
May 19, 2017 Colin Hawkins rated it really liked it
This book was very inspirational to young kids. It showed that anyone can play the sport they love. Never give up and follow your dreams.
Justin Nay
Dec 22, 2011 Justin Nay rated it it was amazing
Justin Nay 12/20/11
Class 1201 TRCS
English IRB Essay #2: One Handed Catch
In the beginning of the book," One Handed Catch", Herm was watching the fireworks on the day that World War 2 started; he was only 6 years old. Herm knew to be extra careful when he was around fireworks because they are very dangerous. You can lose parts of your body, eyes, fingers, etc. or you can get killed. Herm only looked at his friend Leon’s box full of fireworks, but he did not touch them because his mother told him
Oliver Eastwood
Sep 22, 2016 Oliver Eastwood rated it really liked it
A really inspiring novel, all about a one-handed boy who wants to play baseball. It's super powerful in terms of conveying the extent of human courage and determination. Loved it.
Interesting premise about Norm, an 11 year old boy, who loses his left hand in a meat grinder accident in the family grocery store and the changes in his life. Very good so far.

Inspired by the author's husband who lost his hand in a similar accident when he was a boy.

* Humor and very little self-pity
* Issues with his father were realistic
* Friends with other boy, Karl, who's grandmother is a talented baker
* Mother making people, teachers, scout leaders and coaches treat Norm without coddl
Apr 03, 2008 Nick rated it it was amazing
One-Handed Catch is a sports fiction book about a twelve year old boy, Norman Schmidt who lives in Lake Carmel. Norman’s family owns a store, where he helps out. He is an artist and loves baseball. Everything is going well for him until July 4, 1946. Norman has to perform many jobs including making chopped meat using a meat grinder. He did this but gets his hand caught in it when fixing a jam. His hand is amputated up to his wrist and will have a stump the rest of his life. The main conflict is ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyle Sheppard
Mar 06, 2013 Kyle Sheppard rated it it was amazing
M.J. Auch's, One-Handed Catch, was written to inform readers about the struggles people with disabilities face every day. Auch uses first person point of view to express what the characters are thinking and feeling. She informs the reader of what life would be like living with only one hand.

Throughout the story, the author develops the theme of overcoming adversity. Auch shows how the protagonist, a middle-school aged boy, changes what could have been an awful situation into a life-altering lear
Mar 22, 2011 M. rated it really liked it
Set right after WW II ends and based on the author's husband's experiences.

Norm Schmidt is crazy about baseball as are most of the other boys his age and he's hoping to make the summer team next year. And then, on the 4th of July, he gets his hand caught in the grinder at his father's butcher shop and loses a hand. Everyone changes as a result.

Norm gets frustrated with his father who doesn't him in the hospital and continues to feel very guilty about the accident. Norm's mom gets very strict an
Sebastian Q
Apr 25, 2013 Sebastian Q rated it really liked it
One-handed Catch is an excellent work, featuring an 11 year old boy with a passion for baseball. He occasionally practices in hope of making the middle school summer baseball team. One day, Norm, was working at his dad’s meat market whipping up a fresh batch of ground beef when his hand was cut up and eventually amputated. Now, he must try much harder in order to even be considered to make the baseball team. Mrs. Auch does a superb job when describing Norm’s recovery as he discovers innovative w ...more
May 15, 2013 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, audio
I wasn't very interested in this book to begin with, but since I've been trying to go through children's audio to know the collection I'm over at the library better, I thought I'd at least give it a try. Generally, I don't like a lot of sports books because they are over the top. Surprise, I ended up loving this book. And it's not your typical sports book. The story follows Norman, a 11 year old kid living at the end of WWII who has just lost his left hand in an accident. His goal of becoming a ...more
Dec 03, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nicole, who will read it anyway!
Recommended to Jill by: Caudill 2012 list
I really liked this book!

This was the story of Norman, who is an 11-year-old living in the post-WWII era. Early on in the book, his hand is amputated because he caught it in a meat grinder. I thought it was going to be super graphic and disgusting, however, it was handled well! And he was pretty light-hearted about it, mainly because he was in shock.

Anyway, the story is basically about how he copes with only having one hand and trying to be an 11-year-old. It's also a bit about the war - rationi
Jonathan Maduike
Nov 30, 2015 Jonathan Maduike rated it really liked it
One-Handed Catch by M.J. Auch is one of the most hear touching books I've ever read.The story follows the ending of World War II in 1946, where 11 year old Norm Schmidt who loses his left hand in an accident at his father's meat market while grinding hamburger meat. After the tremendous blow of his hand, it takes a big toll on him mentally, as he finds the world too be more confused and complicated and tries to see if he can continue to play baseball. Even though his family and close friend Leon ...more
Dj Giffney
Apr 26, 2015 Dj Giffney rated it really liked it
The book "One-handed catch" by MJ Auch is a phenominal book. It's about a normal eleven-year-old boy named Norm that suffers a fatal accident in his parent's store. He loves drawing,any kind of art. He also has a passion for baseball but takes a turn when the accident happens. He has to find a way to go on with life with only one hand. He is a very intelligent, hardworking, and very inspiring because although he suffers with one hand, he strives and works at what he wants to achieve. The story t ...more
Cripple Xing
Feb 28, 2013 Cripple Xing rated it really liked it
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to go through life with one hand? In One-handed Catch by MJ Auch this is what Norm goes through. One-handed Catch is a very well-written book that has some good points and some bad ones. This is a story of 11-year old Norm losing his left hand in a meat grinder and how that affected his everyday life. He could put on his shoes, but couldn’t tie his laces. He could throw a baseball, but he couldn’t catch and throw. He lost his hand on summer break ...more
Jan 31, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it
This book tells us a mostly true story about a boy who had a meat-grinder freak accident. We get to see the struggle of having to live your life with one hand. This boy aspired to be a professional baseball player and he wants to believe his dreams are crushed...but can family and friends stand by his side and help him through this miserable time? Will they push his buttons and bug him just to get him to do things that will make him realize that he could have a chance at playing again? With all ...more
Narrated by Ryan Sparkes and cast. This story covers a year in Norm's life starting when he loses his hand in his father's meat grinder through the one-year anniversary of the accident, a day when he helps pitch a baseball game. The scene describing the accident isn't gruesome but readers may squirm at the idea. Norm doesn't let too much get him down, but he does experience frustration, as when his mother insists he start learning to do for himself, or his father and best friend Leon aren't supp ...more
Mar 06, 2011 Esther rated it really liked it
Published in 2006 by Henry Holt and Co.
Interest Level: 5th-8th Grade

This is a book about a boy who is living in the town of Lake Carmel post-WWII and he loses his hand in an accident and must deal with this tragic accident. He goes through the various stages of loss and grief because of his hand and tries to figure out how to play baseball once again after losing his hand. This is an interesting book because not only does it deal with a physical disability and coping with it from an adolescent p
Dec 08, 2011 1970044 rated it it was amazing
One Handed Catch Book Review Landen Messner

Ever went through life with one hand? Well that is what 11 year old Norman Shcimdt has to do. On the Forth of July, Norman is asked to give his father “a hand” in the back and that is exactly what he does. He gets his hand stuck in the meat grinder and has to have it taken off!With no hope to make the baseball team everyone tells him to give up, but Norman doesn't give in and soon he is practicing with his best friends Leon and Carl to make the team.
May 11, 2011 Tiffany rated it liked it
Right away, Norm loses his hand in a meat grinding accident, and while this event seems too set-up, readers latter learn in the afterward that the book is based off the author's husband, who really did lose this hand in a meat grinding accident. The book follows Norm through the first year of his adjustment to having one hand, and he does quite well. His mother will not give him special treatment, nor will she let anyone else treat him differently, while his father feels guilty about the acciden ...more
Lisa Nocita
Jul 01, 2008 Lisa Nocita rated it really liked it
The writing in this novel is very good and moves the story line along at a clip. You really come to know the character. For some reason, this book really reminded me of one of my favorite holiday movies, A Christmas Story. Not because it is about the holidays but because it has an "old-timey, when life was simpler, small-town America" feel to it. Brighton Beach Memoir comes to mind too. Norm is eleven when he has an accident in his family-owned butcher shop. He loses his left hand conceivably pu ...more
Jan 31, 2011 H rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-caudill
A solid baseball story/historical fiction book about an 11 year old boy who (this isn't a spoiler) loses his left hand in a pretty gruesome accident. Through perserverance and a mother who simply won't let him give up, Norm learns to do many things you wouldn't think a one-handed boy could do - including relearn how to play baseball. The author says she based the book on her husband's experience, and the book does have the ring of truth about it. (the story is more believable for me maybe becaus ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Dmangaoang0001 rated it really liked it
The book one handed catch by M.J. Arch was a very inspiring book. The book one handed catch is about a boy named Norm who has dreams to one day join the major league of baseball. This dream fades away because one day Norm has a very bad accident and looses his hand, but in spite of his disabilities he still plays baseball. I really like this but because the character still plays baseball in spite of the challenges put before him. I can relate to this book because I play sports and it is tough. A ...more
Oct 02, 2011 John rated it really liked it
When Norman's hand is lost in a meatgrinder accident only pages into this book, you have to think UH-OH. However, Norman is not allowed to feel sorry for himself or take advantage of his new impediment (his mom sees to that). I would call this book "charming." It is also "wholesome." Norman does the right thing because he can, and I liked that about him. Auch tells that the story is based on her husband's real-life experiences. I would very much like to meet her husband because the character tha ...more
Nov 04, 2009 Donovan rated it it was ok
Norman schmidt is a normal kid... until he loses his left hand. his favorite sport is baseball and he is not sure if he will be able to accomplish his life long dream to play major league baseball. norman goes through alot of struggles but he is still determined to make it to the big leagues. will norman give up or will he keep practicing and make it? i guess you have to read this book to find out.

i thought one handed catch is an okay book. it starts sort of fast but in the middle it gets very s
Books Kids Like
Oct 30, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auch-mary-jane
When eleven year-old Norm Schmidt loses his left hand in a meat grinder accident, his aspirations for playing baseball seem completely out of reach. He can't even tie his own shoes! Norm's mother expects him to overcome his handicap and makes him resume his duties in the family's butcher shop. She tells all of his teachers not to cater to him. At first, Norm is angry at her because he would like to take the easy road and use his handicap as an excuse. But, he soon learns that she is right. He be ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Kerri rated it it was amazing
Our family actually listened to this on audiobook. It was presented more like a reader's theater with various actors reading the parts. There was even 40s music playing in between chapters. Overall, we thought the book was great! It was even better knowing that it is inspired and based on a true story. As parents listening to this, my husband and I so appreciated the author's intent and overall message for the story as well as making this read appropriate for kids. Our sons enjoyed the boy humor ...more
Teresa Garrett
Sep 27, 2008 Teresa Garrett rated it really liked it
This book takes place in 1946 and revolves around 11 year old Norm who loses his left hand in a meat grinder. This could be a sappy sad story but instead is very lively and terribly funny. Norm tries to remain a normal boy in spite of what everyone around him thinks and his greatest wish is to play baseball as well as he did before the accident. The scenes involving beginner band are timeless and leave my sixth grade student laughing out loud. Even though a lot of the book is humorous there is a ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: battle-books
Set immediately following WW2 and before Ipods, Ipads, video games and all the other distractions we now give to kids, this book is story of a 6th grader who loses his hand in a meat grinder (yikes!) and overcomes the challenges he faces. So many great characters in this one: the tough mom, the dad who can't deal with his son's "disability" and becomes distant, the best friend who treats him the same even if it means making jokes about his missing hand, a kid who alternately despairs and doesn't ...more
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Mary Jane Auch also writes as MJ Auch.

The thought of becoming a writer never occurred to MJ Auch as a child. Her only literary efforts in those days were the plays which she and her girlfriend, Noreen, wrote for their marionettes. They produced these extravaganzas in Noreen’s garage and organized the neighborhood boys into a sales force to sell tickets and refreshments.

Summer visits to both of MJ’
More about Mary Jane Auch...

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“You didn't play baseball that well with two hands. How do you think you're going to make it with one?
"If you're just going to tell me what I can't do, you can leave.”
More quotes…