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Activities for the Reading Club's Featured Books

Our featured selections are award-winning books that are obtainable in print from libraries and bookstores, and are also available in alternate formats (electronic or braille). Grade levels are approximate.

The Bat Boy & His Violin

By Curtis, Gavin


Available in braille from the following sources:

1. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Free loan to registered users; also available from Web-braille as a contracted braille digital file. Users must register with their cooperating library.

2. Seedlings
$5.00; This braille book is available for purchase.

Related Web Sites

• Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
• National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
• McGraw-Hill Activities for Bat Boy & His Violin
• Antonio Pontarelli, Child Prodigy Violinist
• David Lisker, A Prodigious Talent (child violinist)
• Violin Maker Geoffrey Ovington
• Teaching Good Character--Cooperation Lesson Plans K-5


1. Find out more about baseball history and the Negro Leagues.
Look at the Baseball Hall of Fame to find information about Jackie Robinson, Cool Papa Bell, Larry Doby, Josh Gibson, and others who played in the Negro Leagues before moving into the National or American League. A timeline of the Negro Leagues is available on

2. Listen to violin music, especially compositions by composers mentioned in the story.
Itzhak Perlman is today's reigning violin virtuoso, and recordings of him playing many of the songs from this book are readily available. You may also want to find recordings of child violinists such as Hilary Hahn, David Lisker, Antonio Pontarelli, or others.

3. School/Home Discussion
Talk about how Reginald and his Papa had different ideas about his playing the violin and how we develop our interests for future careers.

4. Internet Research
Search the AFB CareerConnect® database for mentors who are blind or visually impaired and have chosen a career in music or sports. Students, family members, or teachers are invited to e-mail any of them to talk about their work and how they do it! However, don't forget to register for free as a CareerConnect user before sending your e-mail. Tips for Students on Contacting Mentors are available to help you think about the kinds of questions you may want to ask a prospective mentor!

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