Wise, Bill 1958–

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Wise, Bill 1958–


Born 1958, in Gorham, ME.


Home—Gorham, ME. E-mail—[email protected].


Author and educator. Greely Junior High School, Cumberland, ME, teacher.

Awards, Honors

Children's Books of the Year selection, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee, Carter G. Woodson Book Award, National Council for the Social Studies, Children's Book Award, International Reading Association (IRA), Myers Outstanding Book Award honorable mention, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, and Notable Books for a Global Society selection, IRA, all for Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer.


Whodunit Math Puzzles, illustrated by Lucy Corvino, Sterling (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Hy Conrad and Bob Peterson) Mensa Whodunits, Main Street (New York, NY), 2004.

Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth, Lee & Low Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Highlights and Scholastic.


Middle-school teacher Bill Wise is the author of Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer, an award-winning picture book biography. A native of Maine, Wise first learned of Sockalexis as a teenager, while researching a report on major league ballplayers from his home state. "I have been an avid baseball fan since I was ten years old," the author remarked in an interview on the Lee & Low Books Web site, adding, "I've read hundreds of baseball books—both fiction and nonfiction—and have seen every baseball movie ever made. I've always been captivated by the rich history—the legendary players, the memorable stories, the benchmark records of the sport. I guess you could say I consider myself a ‘baseball historian.’"

In Louis Sockalexis, Wise chronicles the life of the first Native American to play major league baseball. Born in 1871, on the Penobscot Indian reservation near Old Town, Maine, Sockalexis excelled in athletics at Holy Cross College and signed with the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in 1897. Though he often faced discrimination from opposing fans, Sockalexis proved to be a marvelous talent. In his very first at-bat, he

homered off of New York Giants' ace Amos Rusie at the famed Polo Grounds, and he ended his rookie season with a stellar .338 batting average. "The book is aimed for children," Wise told Gab with the Gazette contributor Cliff White. "It's intended to give hope about the possibility of overcoming obstacles and achieving your dreams. It's really supposed to give kids the feeling that they can achieve anything they put their mind to." A critic in Publishers Weekly called Louis Sockalexis a "solid debut picture book" and noted that the author "conveys the tension and drama of the Spiders-Giants game." According to Marilyn Taniguchi, writing in School Library Journal, Wise's "finely crafted look at a little-known sports pioneer should intrigue a wide audience of readers."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, July 1, 2007, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer, p. 53.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of Louis Sockalexis.

School Library Journal, May, 2007, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Louis Sockalexis, p. 127.


Gab with the Gazette Web log,http://blog.inthegazette.com/ (April 18, 2008), Cliff White, interview with Wise.

Lee & Low Books Web site,http://www.leeandlow.com/ (August 1, 2008), "Booktalk with Bill Wise and Bill Farnsworth."

Publishers Weekly Online,http://www.publishersweekly.com/ (April 9, 2007), review of Louis Sockalexis.