Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies / Children's Book Council
An inspirational biography of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates (1907--1998), an African American man who overcame the hardship of losing a leg at age 12 and went on to become a world-renowned tap dancer.
Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates was one of the legendary tap dancers of the twentieth century. As a young boy, Clayton loved to dance, but when he lost his left leg in a factory accident at age twelve, no one thought he would ever walk again, let alone dance. But Clayton's musical spirit was still alive. Soon he was dancing using crutches, then a peg leg. Within a short time his peg leg matched the dancing ability of his other leg.
Peg Leg Bates performed throughout the United States and Europe, winning the hearts of audiences with his unique style of dancing. He was an amazing showstopper and an inspiration to everyone he met. With determination and a love of life, he turned misfortune into triumph. His most lasting achievement might just be the extraordinary example he set for us all.
Lynne Barasch's initial inspiration for Knockin' on Wood came many years ago when she learned about Peg Leg Bates from her daughter's tap dance teacher.
Lynne Barasch has written and illustrated several award-winning books for children, including Knockin' on Wood, Hiromi's Hands, and First Come the Zebra, all three published by Lee & Low Books; and Radio Rescue, an ALA Notable Children's Book and Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist selection. Barasch and her husband live in New York City. To find out more about Lynne Barasch, visit LynneBarasch.com.
"A credible introduction to a memorable and remarkably resolute dancer." - Publishers Weekly
"It's a very neat story, told briefly but effectively; the illustrations are full of movement and flair..." - Kirkus Reviews
"Barasch's watercolor-and-ink cartoon paintings capture the poverty of the dancer's early life, the adulation of his fans, and his joyous love of dancing. Vignettes across a spread depict him performing typical tap steps in his own unique way." - School Library Journal