One-Handed Catch
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One-Handed Catch

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  771 ratings  ·  143 reviews
“Dad had asked me to give him a hand, and that’s exactly what I was doing. I was fast becoming part of the fourteen-cent chopped meat special—which, I’m told, was not a big seller for the rest of the day.”


What would it be like to go through life 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...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Square Fish (first published September 19th 2006)
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Ali
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...more
Megan
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
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
Dec 04, 2011 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Sebastian Q
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
Nick
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
Justin Nay
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...more
Esther
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...more
M.
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...more
Dmangaoang0001
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
Cripple Xing
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
Kyle Sheppard
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...more
1970044
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....more
 Marla
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.

Likes:
* 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...more
Ellen
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
Tiffany
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
Prairie Star
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
Lisa
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
Books Kids Like
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
Lonna Pierce
M.J. Auch's husband inspired this fictional account of his own childhood, when he lost a hand to a meat grinder in his father's grocery store. This is not a pitiable version of events, as the young boy learns to excel at his favorite sport, baseball, despite his disability.
Kerri
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
Donovan
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...more
H
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
John
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
Ty
May 21, 2013 Ty is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
i throught the book was great because after he cut his hand at the beging the book like took you throught the whole thing how he suferd at som things and when he first cut his hand and he got to go home he tired thing that would promble be differcult like shooting his bow anorrow and do the sports he like and like when there was only like and couple pages left witch where about his bball game he it was his turn up at pitching score was 8-10 and they was loseing and brewster was up for bat and ca...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
My seventh Bluebonnet and my seventh book of realistic fiction, with sad, sad characters living sad, sad lives. I thought Bluebonnets were supposed to be a nice cross-section of genres….

One-Handed Catch is my favorite Bluebonnet, nevertheless. Norm wants to be either an artist or a baseball player, but his hopes are dashed when he cuts off his hand in a meat-grinder accident. Norm’s mother doesn’t let his handicap serve as a crutch, however, and Norm learns to do everything he once did easily wi...more
Lucy
Norm lives in post-WWII New York state and has lost his left hand working in his father's butcher shop. Sounds gross, I know, but the story is reminiscent of Andrew Clements and Richard Peck. The adults in the book are, for the most part, wise and "adultlike" as they were back in the 40s and 50s. Norm learns to live with no left hand and adapts quite nicely thanks to his mother's talking to his teachers, coaches, and his Boy Scout leader to tell them Norm should not get special treatment because...more
Teresa Garrett
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
Carolyn
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
katsok
I owe Jeffrey in my RTI class an apology. He told me about this book weeks ago, was very excited about it even, but I had other things I was reading and didn't really pay attention. Fast forward to this past Monday and it turns up on our nominees for our state award.

What a fabulous book. Norm is a normal kid living in New York after WWII. He dreams of baseball and art. He works in his parents grocery store after school and, in the first chapter, loses his left hand in a freak accident. The rest...more
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1376510
Mary Jane (MJ) Auch and Herm Auch are a husband and wife author/illustrator team. MJ started out writing middle grade novels, and had nine of them published before branching out into writing and illustrating picture books. Herm spent forty years as a graphic artist, editorial cartoonist, and digital artist in the newspaper business. Now Herm and MJ co-illustrate their picture books, combining MJ’s...more
More about M.J. 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.”
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