Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Fantastic Historical Baseball Title!

Things are rapidly changing during World War II for Maria. The farm her father rents and runs is undergoing some changes, her close knit Hispanic/Indian community is experiencing losses, and she is finally granted permission to play baseball... while wearing shorts! This isn't easy for her, but with the help of her teacher and coach, Maria learns the sport and overcomes the objections of her family and community to girls playing. There are grade appropriate struggles with friends and a younger brother that show that even during different time periods, some essential middle grade concerns stay the same.

Good Points
This was a great example of what makes great historical fiction-- vivid descriptions of details of daily life during a different time, an unusual twist to the history, and sports. If all historical fiction included sports, it would be helpful! I had never heard of the Mexican-Hindu community in California, and the brief glimpse into Indian history was fascinating, since the book put it into context against US history that younger readers might know a bit better. I am always glad to see books that show the difficulties that girls had playing sports before Title IX as well.

Maria is a great character, and her reactions to situations are flawed but charming. She is supposed to watch her brother, but this interferes with practice. The solution? Clearly, bribe her brother! She lies to her mother about things, but feels guilty. She appreciates her parents' culture, but also doesn't feel it's completely her own.

There were two details about this time period that I found particularly interesting-- the Beckers, both Elizabeth and her father, were shown as pure meanness at the beginning of the book, but Maria does start to understand their motivations more. There are few treatments of German-Americans at this time, so it's a nice touch to include this. The other thing that was interesting was the fact that Maria's father couldn't own land, but his children, being born in the US, could.

Baseball might be the most "American" sport, but perhaps that is because so many different ethnic groups embrace it. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh is a great addition to a list of multicultural basenall books that include Lorenzi's A Long Way Home (Pakistani), Volponi's Game Seven (Cuban), Lynch's. Gold Dust (Caribbean), Shang's The Way Home Looks Now (Chinese), Ritter's Fewnay Fever (Italian), Tooke's King of the Mound Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige (African American) and any number of books set during WWII that feature Japanese-Americans and baseball!
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The 11:11 Wish
Megan Meyers has a foolproof plan to reinvent herself at...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Silver Mask
A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Children of Exile
Rosi must decide what she’s willing to risk to save...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Believarexic
Asking for help is only the first step. ...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graveyard Shakes
Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Star Renegades
In the tradition of Star Wars, a galaxy-hopping space adventure...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last to Let Go
A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pretty Dead Girls
Beautiful. Perfect. Dead. In the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By a Charm and a Curse
A kiss is never just a kiss. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Silver Mask
 
5.0
"With Aaron gone, Call has trouble getting his feet back on the ground. He's torn up because he feels responsible..."
Graveyard Shakes
 
4.0
"All Victoria wants to do is fit in, but instead, her and her sister Katia are always being teased. It..."
InterWorld (InterWorld #1)
 
3.5
"A solid sci-fi/urban fantasy adventure premise, ideally targeting the mid-to-upper Middle Grade demographic. It’s a quick read—overall fun and fast-paced...."
Roar of the Thunder Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #8)
 
5.0
"Carlos's dragon Lalo has been take by Eko, a Dragon Master who uses her powers for causing trouble. When King..."
In The Snow
 
5.0
"IN THE SNOW features a little girl and her dog doing typical snow activities like drawing pictures with a stick,..."
The Midnight Gang
 
4.0
"When Tom gets hit in the head with a ball, he earns himself a bed in Lord Funt Hospital. What..."
Mae Among the Stars
 
5.0
"A beautiful story with a beautiful message. Mae is a young girl with a big dream. She wants..."
Rabbit Moon
 
4.0
"A very cute bedtime story. Rabbit lives on the moon. Each night, children make wishes and they travel to..."
Tiny and the Big Dig
 
4.0
"An adorable little dog with a huge drive. Tiny smells a bone. He's sure it's there, somewhere beneath his..."
Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls
 
5.0
"There is not one thing to dislike about this book. Princess Truly has magical sparkling curls and that..."
Three Little Monkeys
 
4.0
"A great looking story. Three little monkeys are left alone when the lady of the house leaves each day...."
Thank you Earth
 
5.0
"A beautiful and well-done love letter to our planet. Gosh, what can I say about this one? I loved..."
Pignic
 
4.0
"A cute adventure with a family of pigs. As you can guess by the title, the pigs decide..."
Grace For Gus
 
4.0
"A cute adventure through New York City. Grace is a spunky girl with many hidden talents. Gus is the..."
Marlo and the Dinosaurs
 
4.0
"A gorgeous seek and find. The images are the true star of this book. Marlo falls asleep and goes..."
Molly's Story
 
5.0
"Molly is panting, her tail wagging happily as she retrieves the long stick that CJ had thrown for her. Molly..."
Two's a Crowd (Pug Pals #1)
 
5.0
"Sunny is an older pug who has a comfortable life with her human and her stuffed animals. When Rosy, a..."
Dangerous Jane
 
4.0
"Following Jane Addams life from her well-to-do but uncomfortable childhood, we see that she was interested in helping the underprivileged..."
Silent Days, Silent Dreams
 
4.0
"Artist James Castle was born with many problems right before the turn of the last century. Raised on a farm,..."
Midnight in the Piazza
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Beatrice Archer isn't too excited when her professor father is offered a job far away from Boston. When she..."