“Mr. Hazelgrove’s presentation reinforced a lot of what we teach about in our reading and writing classes.” –

Ali Tannenbaum Librarian Hadley Jr. High


“I liked that Bill talked about how he kept a journal of advice based on rejection letters he had received, and that he became a better writer because of that.  It showed the students that writing is a journey and no one is good at first and that you get better along the way.” – Lynn Bruno


“I liked that the students were able to see a manuscript and all of the editing that goes into great writing.” -Beth Ewoldt Hadley Jr. High


“Mr. Hazelgrove’s presentation was engaging, motivating, interactive, informative and humorous.  I loved it!” -Brett Cooper Hadley Jr. High


“Bill really drove home the point to our students that writing the first draft is not the meat of writing.  Rewriting is.”- Denise Capenigro Hadley Jr. High


“Bill’s presentation really connected to our students interest level and skill level.  They knew exactly what he was referring to and they could relate to it personally.  It was truly on the mark!” – Patty Jurczak Hadley Jr. High


  “Author William Hazelgrove truly inspired and motivated our Creative Writing classes with his presentation at our school this spring”.

Maggie Bellinger
Bartlett HS, Bartlett, IL


“In all the years I’ve been moderating, your presentation stands out from all the rest…filled with inspiration, helpful hints and good advice that I have never before heard by any of our writers.

 – Caryl Mobley, Programming

Arlington Heights Public Library

Thanks again for joining us for Writers Week. I don’t know if you realize this but you have a pretty strong state presence. You seemed very confident up there. And this is what the students said too. Your session was one of the highlights of the week.”

Tony Romano

William Fremd High School


“I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for agreeing to share your life with us. I’m certain that each student listened intently to your talk about the ups and downs of the writing business. Further, I believe you inspired a good number of them to consider a career in writing. Don’t be surprised if we call upon you in the future!”

Elaine Glenn

Librarian Oak Park and River Forest High School



1. Tell a baseball story using Ricky and The Pitcher.

2. Where do you think Ricky ends up pitching? Does he get his dream and pitch in Wrigley Field?

3. Write down your favorite scene in The Pitcher and use sensory detail.

4. Write in Rickys voice and explain why you like or dislike the story.

5. If there was a sequel to The Pitcher what would you like to see happen

6 Is a dream worth all the trouble Ricky goes through?

7 Write your own dream story and describe the obstacles you will have to overcome.

8. Who is your favorite character and why?

9 Who is your least favorite character and why?

10.How does Ricky’s mothers status as an immigrant affect the story?

11. Is it fair to deport Ricky’s mother after she has lived in the United States all her life?

12. Is it fair to keep Ricky from trying out because his mother is an illegal immigrant?

William Hazelgrove will present to Middle School and High Schools and conduct mini lessons that are in line with the Common Core Standards for the State of Illinois. These mini-lessons will cover some of the following topics and will bring in the use of The Pitcher in the classroom. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.


Here Are Some of the Areas Covered in Mini Lessons

1. Produce Clear and Coherent writing

2 Use the Internet and links to help tell a story

3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined stories

4. Use multiple points of view in writing

5 Use of Sensory Detail and Conclusions

6. Revising and Editing to produce stronger narratives