Hitting it out of the ballpark!
I met Nancy at her Barnes and Noble book signing March 2016. We both live in Dallas and we’ve been friends since. She had a huge crowd that night. No empty seats with many who came from a deaf school located here. Even Kristen Fulton came to her signing all the way from Florida.
Nancy has truly been a sensation with her successful children’s book William Hoy Story. Have you ever wondered why hand signals are used in baseball? It was William’s idea. He couldn’t hear what the players yelled, but he could see what they were saying using hand signals. William has forever changed the way the game is played.
This picture book for children came out last year from Albert Whitman & Company and has already won multiple awards, including being named for the 2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids list, the 2017 Texas Library Association 2X2 list, the 2017 Texas Library Association Topaz list, the 2017 Bank Street Best Books list and the 2018 Illinois Monarch Award Master List.
The William Hoy Story was also named a 2017 Storytelling World Resource Award Honor Book and a finalist for the North Texas Book Festival’s Best Children’s Book.
Welcome Nancy and WOW, congratulations! It’s a privilege to have you.
Tell us where you got the inspiration for this book.
A man named Steve Sandy, from Ohio, emailed me to thank me about a story I had written for The Dallas Morning News about ‘The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy,’ a play at Garland High School. It was the first time I had heard about William’s amazing story. I wrote Steve back and said he was welcome, but why was a man from Ohio interested in a play in a high school in Garland, Texas? Steve told me he is Deaf, and it is his life’s dream to spread the word about this great Deaf hero and to get him into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where he would be the first Deaf baseball player honored there. I wanted to help. I got the idea if I wrote a children’s book about William Hoy, it would spread his name to a new generation and the kids would help us by writing letters to the Hall of Fame. Steve helped me with original letters, newspaper articles, photos and research about what life was like for a Deaf person growing up in the 19th century. The more I learned about William Hoy, the more I admired him and the more determined I became to make a book that would break down barriers between Deaf and hearing kids and would show all kids what you can do if you don’t give up and realize that your difference can be your gift.
Your book is already in its third printing. Isn’t it also going to be published in Japanese?
My publisher, Albert Whitman & Company, sold the Japanese rights last year and the South Korean rights this year. I don’t know when they’ll be coming out, but I am very excited about getting copies of each and of course Steve will have to have a copies as well. If it is about William Hoy, Steve MUST have it!
Nancy has been working on getting William Hoy inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. When she does school visits, she has the children write a letter to the committee supporting his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Last summer, she was invited to speak at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where they sold copies of the book that she autographed, and where she hand-delivered more than 800 letters from kids on William’s behalf. She also presented the book at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, where William is already honored in the Hall of Fame. The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame has promised to make a bobblehead for William Hoy as they do for all their Hall of Famers; they reassured Nancy this would happen when she checked in about it in May. Nancy has truly gone to bat for William!
Not only is Nancy a full time Theater Critic for the Dallas Morning News, but she wastes no time writing more books! I know you have several more on the horizon. Tell us about them.
I have four picture book biographies coming out. They are all true stories about people that should be heroes, but most kids don’t know about yet. Each and every one inspires me and I hope will inspire kids: Manjhi Moves a Mountain (Creston Books, Sept. 2017), is about a man in India who came up with an idea of how to make things better for others in his poor village and worked for 22 years to make it happen; Charlie Takes His Shot, How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf (Albert Whitman, Jan. 2018) is about the golfer who made it possible for people of all races to play in the PGA; Irving Berlin, The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing (Creston Books, Spring 2018) is a story of an immigrant who did so much to thank America, the land that he loved and The Princess and the Tree (Albert Whitman, Nov. 2018), the true story of the kind princess who brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle.
If you live near Dallas, you can meet Nancy at the Richardson Public Library June 16, where she’ll appear at a Young Authors program for children ages 10-18 and at the SCBWI North Texas Conference Sept. 23 at at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre where she will be doing manuscript critiques. You can follow her on Facebook (Nancy Churnin Children’s Books) and Twitter (@nchurnin) for updates on her September book launch for Manjhi Moves a Mountain.
Nancy is married to Dallas Morning News arts writer Michael Granberry and has four boys and two cats.
You can reach her at:
On Facebook: Nancy Churnin Children’s Books
On Facebook: Nancy Churnin
On Facebook: D-FW Theater
Thank you Nancy! You are amazing!
HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK FOR HER UPCOMING BOOKS! TAKE A LOOK :>)