There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived

By: Matt Tavares

Ted Williams aspired to be “the greatest hitter who ever lived.” He worked hard and became an all-star. But when World War II broke out, he put his dreams on hold. Author’s note. Ted Williams statistics. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations created in watercolor, gouache, and pencil.

ISBN: 9780763627898

JLG Release: Mar 2012


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Ted Williams (1918-2002) , Baseball , The Boston Red Sox , Serving in World War II , Serving in the Korean War , Batting statistics and records

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Awards & Honors

Booklist Top 10 Sports Books for Youth: 2012

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Following his outstanding Henry Aaron’s Dream (Candlewick, 2010), Tavares has written an equally stunning book about another Baseball Hall of Famer. Even as a child, Williams had only one goal—to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. His work ethic, combined with immense talent, carried him through a career of 21 years, all with Following his outstanding Henry Aaron’s Dream (Candlewick, 2010), Tavares has written an equally stunning book about another Baseball Hall of Famer. Even as a child, Williams had only one goal—to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. His work ethic, combined with immense talent, carried him through a career of 21 years, all with the Boston Red Sox, in which he seemed to conjure up magical moments at will. The author covers many of the highlights: Williams’s game-winning home run in the 1941 All-Star game; his .406 season (a record that still stands); his numerous batting titles; his career-closing home run (immortalized by John Updike in a 1960 New Yorker article). In an author’s note, Tavares shares how he learned to love the player, warts and all, through the stories his father told him. Williams’s charisma dominates the illustrations, from the very first one of a scrawny boy swinging under the palm trees of a San Diego playground, to his final trip around the bases at Fenway. Due attention is also given to Williams’s distinguished military career, which he approached with the same determination to dominate as he did hitting. The anecdote about him choosing to crash his disabled fighter jet rather than eject and risk breaking his legs—which would end his baseball career, if his age of 35 didn’t—is a testament to the larger-than-life personality Tavares is trying to contain in his book. This is a glorious tribute to a baseball legend and a complicated human being.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

Horn Book

Tavares continues his love affair with baseball with an ode to Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, one of the greatest players of all time. Despite missing three years to World War II and flying thirty-nine combat missions in Korea, Williams amassed staggering statistics over a long career, and fans will always wonder what those stats might have b Tavares continues his love affair with baseball with an ode to Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, one of the greatest players of all time. Despite missing three years to World War II and flying thirty-nine combat missions in Korea, Williams amassed staggering statistics over a long career, and fans will always wonder what those stats might have been had he not lost those years. His most memorable season was 1941, when he batted .406 and was only twenty-one years old, but his career ran until 1960, when he hit a homer in his last at-bat. Tavares’s present-tense narrative lends drama and immediacy to the all-smiles-and-heroics biography, and the watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations depict Williams as large as a double-page spread can hold. On one spread, Williams’s head, torso, and baseball bat, in typical homerun swing, consume the available space. Turn the page, and an F9F Panther fighter jet all but flies out of the book. Turn again, and Ted is in the reader’s face, fleeing the burning wreckage of his plane. The less smiley and heroic side to Williams’s character is reserved for an interesting author’s note, where Tavares discusses his own lifelong fascination with the Boston star. Published in time for Fenway Park’s centennial celebrations, this full-of-life biography will be a hit with young baseball fans.

The Horn Book Guide Review:
Present-tense narration lends drama and immediacy to Tavares’s all-smiles-and-heroics biography of Boston Red Sox slugger Williams. Watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations depict Williams as large as a double-page spread can hold. The less smiley and heroic side to his character is reserved for an interesting author’s note. Originally published as a picture book, this is a smaller-size, reformatted edition. A list of stats is included. Bib., ind.

Book Details

ISBN

9780763627898

First Release

March 2012

Genre

Dewey Classification

398.2 E

Trim Size

9 3/4" x 11 13/16"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.8; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 2;

Lexile

Level AD810L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Ted Williams (1918-2002), Baseball, The Boston Red Sox, Serving in World War II, Serving in the Korean War, Batting statistics and records,

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