Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

Scholastic Reading Counts! title
Accelerated Reader title


Chicago Tribune

Here’s a good antidote to recent doses of sports and steroids…Bowen’s object is to show determination in practice. Exercise, practice, repeat… This book passes the sports books litmus test: even though we know the ending, it’s exciting—Chicago Tribune

Reading Rockets/​PBS

Ted Williams never flinched at hard work or a challenge. In his last season with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had to decide if he wanted to take the chance and lose his rare .400 average or go to bat. Williams' decision creates a riveting read in this handsome and thoughtful look at one man's ethics and the times in which he lived.

School Library Journal

Bowen's picture-book tribute introduces readers to a baseball great whose strong, smooth swing, eagle eye, and tireless work ethic accompanied him from an impoverished childhood to the major leagues.... This winning book should resonate with a wide audience. - Marilyn Taniguchi


Bowen, who writes a sports column for kids, tells the story journalistically, extending his account of the season-ending doubleheader that took Williams over the top to heighten the tension. Pyle's paintings give the feeling of baseball, players and the parks in which they played in active and accurate portraits that match the writing--strong sports reporting, both visually and textually, to provide readers, be they baseball fans or not, the excitement of games and the efforts of a player whose feat has yet to be matched in modern times.

No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season

•A Junior Library Guild Selection
•A Booklist Top 10 Sports Book For Youth
•A Mass. Center for the Book Must Read
•A Capitol Choices Noteworthy Book
•Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year title

The Story

It’s 1941— a legendary year in baseball. It’s the year that Red Sox slugger Ted Williams makes history! With just a doubleheader left to play and the whole world watching, Williams is on the verge of batting a record-breaking .400 for the entire season. Here is the exciting story of that spectacular year and the player who inspired the nation with a feat so amazing, no one has equaled it since.