"Kammie on First" cover

Ohio Author Kicks Off New Biography Series For Young Readers

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Michelle Houts defines herself as a “writer, school speech pathologist, a mom and a farmer.”

She also is the author of four books for youth published since 2010.

Her most recent book, Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek, has just been released by Ohio University Press. Houts will visit Athens on Friday, Oct. 24 to sign books between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Athens Book Center.

It is the first in a new biography series being published by the Ohio University Press, for young readers.

“I wanted to write about an Ohio woman who had gone on to great success,” Houts said. “I found the personal story of Dottie Kamenshek to be fascinating.”

Houts also thinks the story will be inspiring to young people. Her target audience is ages 9 to 12.

Kamenshek was a native of Norwood, Ohio, near Cincinnati and while growing up, she played sandlot baseball with the boys. However, during World War II and at 17 years-old, she became a star with the All American Girls Professional Ball League, a women’s league designed to substitute, during the war years, for major league baseball.

Kamenshek was the real life baseball hero that actor Geena Davis portrayed in the movie A League of Their Own.

This story tells the personal life-story of a famous Ohioan, but also weaves into it historical facts about World War II, the Great Depression and immigration to the United States from Eastern Europe.

This is Houts’ first time writing a biography and she is delighted with the outcome. She is already working on a second biography aimed at young audiences.

Houts’ first two books, The Beef Princess of Practical County and the Practical County Drama Queen, center around a young girl’s experiences on a midwestern farm. Houts, her husband and three children live on a farm near Celina, Ohio. She drew a great deal for those two books from her own family’s experiences.

Late this summer, Houts also launched her third book, Winter Frost, set in Denmark.

Visit the Conversations from Studio B page to listen to Tom Hodson’s full 30-minute interview with Michelle Houts.