Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh” as Want to Read:
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Nine-year-old Maria Singh longs to play softball in the first-ever girls team forming in Yuba City, California. It's the spring of 1945, and World War II is dragging on. Miss Newman, Maria's teacher, is inspired by Babe Ruth and the All-American Girls League to start a girls softball team at their school. Meanwhile, Maria's parents Papi from India and Mama from Mexico can ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Tu Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lucy K. Chasing Trouble is the name of chapter five.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  38 reviews

Sort order
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A touching story of a young Punjabi-Mexican American girl pursuing her dream of playing softball and finding her voice to stand up for what is right, despite the pressures and limitations of the prevailing norms of her environment.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

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
Kate Olson
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding example of middle grade historical fiction. This book will appeal to sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike, along with any kids who just like reading books about strong characters with an interesting story to tell! The story was fascinating and fast-paced and kept me engaged for the entire time. The author's note at the end does an excellent job of explaining the historical accuracy of the events of the story, which is especially important to me as a librarian. I honestly can ...more
Alternative: Book Commercial

I think it would be a good and fun idea to make a fake movie commercial for a book. Since this book takes places in 1945 and about baseball, it could be like A League of Their Own. Or it could be dramatic, since it focuses on the effect of the Indian Independence movement and the racism in light of World War II. Since the book focuses on Maria’s Mexican mother and Indian father (and their conflicting parenting styles), it could be a family movie. As a result of all t
Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 271pgs

spring 1945 Yuba City, California. 5th grader Maria Singh wants to play softball more than anything, but how can she convince her parents? Her parents, her mother from Mexico and her father from India, are very traditional especially her father.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy books involving sports or enjoyed Conking's "Sylvia and Aki"
Abby Johnson
A WWII homefront story unlike one I've read before, set in California among families of Mexican and Indian immigrants. Maria longs to play baseball, even though it's just newly becoming something girls can do and her conservative Sikh father doesn't like the idea of her playing. As the War rages across the ocean, Maria will come to question who's a friend and who's an enemy and how the idea of that can change depending on your perspective.

Although I found the characters and setting interesting,
Tricia Douglas
This is a good historical fiction book for children nine and older. The story takes place in Yuba City, California in the spring of 1945. Maria's father is from India and her mother from Mexico. Maria's community comes together to get a girls' softball team playing while they battle the discriminatory laws of the time. There's a lot for classrooms to discuss about how prejudice is combated, scrap drives take place, and the poor work the fields. Interesting story, a little slow at times.
Dorine White
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Story-
It is 1945 and World War II is happening in Europe. Fifth grader, Maria Singh, wants to play ball, just like the women in the All American Leagues. Her chance becomes reality when her teacher puts together an all girl softball team. However, Maria's Papi from India does not want her wearing shorts, and her Mama from Mexico, wants her to keep an eye on her little brother Emilio.

Determined, Maria sets out to follow her dream, but life is not so easy. Her father is not allowed to become a
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maria's very progressive fifth grade teacher has decided to start a girls' softball team and Maria wants to be on it more than anything! First she needs to convince her parents. Maria's mother is Mexican-American and her father is Punjabi. Their community in Yuba City, CA in 1945 is full of many of these adha-adha (half and half) families. It will take some convincing for them to let her wear shorts and her little brother is too young to walk home from school by himself. This is not the only bat ...more
Robyn Arend
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maria is half and half.

Half Mexican. Half Punjabi Indian.

She lives on a farm in California. The year is 1945.

Step up to the Plate is a fascinating history lesson wrapped up in an enjoyable tale. There were timeless moments that would ring true for any nine year old and moments that were unique to the community Maria lived in. The main focus of the story is a burgeoning softball team that Maria desperately wants to be a part of. She bribes her little brother many times throughout the book, buying
Sunday Cummins
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lots of potential for supporting deeper thinking in the classroom. Book talk this with 4th-6th grade students for independent reading, OR make this a core text for a literature circle, OR read this aloud to the class and provide opportunities for small groups to contemplate high level thinking questions like, "What does Maria observe (at home, in school, in the community) that influences/shapes her thinking?" or "How is Maria's identity shaped by having parents from two different countries?" If ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, historical, youth
All 9 year old Maria wants to do is play on her teacher's all girl softball team, but things are getting complicated with the war, prejudice against her Punjabi father, and the cultural expectations from her Mexican mother. This was such a great read, filled with baseball, history, and lots of great character moments. We managed to get girls in sports, fighting for a field in a democracy, the impact of WW2, and cultural history about America. I had no idea there were so many Indian/Mexican famil ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I think about Asians coming to work in America and then not being able to bring families over, I think of Chinese immigrants building railroads, but there was also a population of men from India - while it was still under British rule - who ended up marrying Mexican wives because their brown skin allowed them to get around California's laws against interracial marriage.

This book covers some terrible things, but as the main character slowly starts to realize what different things mean, her s
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
This book would be a good book to include for the fifth grade reading unit: Social Justice. It is a good multicultural book that is also historical fiction. It takes place in Southern California during the Second World War. Maria’s biggest dream is to play softball with her classmates but Papi doesn’t think girls should play sports or wear shorts. The problem is that Maria loves the game. The family is in crisis mode when the owner of the land they farm decides he is going to sell and move. At t ...more
Ames Public Library Youth Services
Five stars. This book is a hidden gem of 2017! It is a great introduction to upper elementary and middle school students about social justice issues that are a part of the American experience.

This is a well-written book with very real characters, and readers are introduced to a time and place we do not often hear about. Prejudice and discrimination are talked about within a historical context (WW2) so the reader is able to step back and see that many of our problems today are not new ones, and
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This book captures a multicultural history in which families merged Indian and Mexican cultures in a small town in California. Described through the eyes of a daughter who wants to play in the schools first all girl softball league, author Krishnaswami paints an intriguing history of a town and reminds us of the many challenges that immigrants have faced in this country trying to make it their own. This book is a great example of just how many American stories there are left to tell and discover ...more
Lea Fabrizzi
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh is about a 9 year old girl living in California who loves to play softball but is growing up in a time where WW2 is still going on, and gender inequality is still a major issue in the world. For a nine year old, Maria learns huge life lessons, like finding her voice and making decisions most nine year olds wouldn't want too, especially when their parents do not support her decisions. -Lea Fabrizzi
Vicki Holmsten
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who knew there was a community of adha-adhas (fathers from India, mothers from Mexico) in Yuba City, California, in the 1940's. Maria Singh is a member of this community and a girl who wants to play ball in spite of obstacles working against her. A wonderful story. I had the privilege of working with Uma as she researched and wrote much of this story during our Bisti Writing Project years. So wonderful to see it in print. Go Maria! Go Uma!
Shelby Lehman
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t like to read books with WWII settings, but my 9 yo daughter read this first and said “I should read it”, so I did. I’m really happy I read it. I haven’t read a book about the Mexican/Indian experience in the 30’s, from the view of a child. Eye opening and interesting. Sad to think it wasn’t that long ago. Bonus that it was based in a town near my hometown. I’m glad my daughter is being exposed to these stories.
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was 1945 and, with World War II going on, all nine-year-old Maria wanted to do was play baseball. Her aunt built planes and women were starting to play professional ball so, when her teacher started an all-girls team at her school, Maria was thrilled. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress....
Morgan Bindas
This book is very well thought out and well written. This book covers a lot of social history that the children would be able to understand. It shows how discrimination was back in the day. It also introduces to the children what half and half are as several of them might not know what that is at that age. This book was okay, I would suggest a different book if someone asked me.
Tori Augustine
This story covers a ton of social history in a format kids can grasp easily. At the heart of it is Maria's desire to play softball and claim her place in a world that's often hard to understand. This would make a great read for kids who love the history of the American Girls or Dear America books, from a perspective that those series don't cover.
Morgan Czopur
This book is great for children to read that are discouraged or don't think they are good enough to play a certain sport. This book takes place during World War II and Maria is finally allowed to play softball. She struggles at first, but with the help of her coach she catches on in no time. This book would be good for children around the age of 8-9 to read.
Molly Dettmann
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A cute, historical-fiction book about Maria, a Punjabi-Mexican American girl, living during the end of WWII. Lots of discussion about race, war, and prejudice. Maria also wants to play softball and her working towards that goal plays a big part in her character development. For younger readers and fans of sports and historical fiction from a different perspective.
Emily Metheny
This story takes place during WWII and is about a young girl name Maria who is following her dreams to play softball. Things are changing during this time in her Hispanic/ Indian community. Maria stands up for her self and stands up against the norms of society. This book is very interesting and educational and I loved the courage and motivation that Maria had.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is based on historical events during WWII.
Maria wants to join her school's all-girl softball team, but her traditional Indian father will not allow her to wear shorts. Her parents are much more worried about what is happening globally: WWII and the Partition of India; though it was a difficult time for everyone, Maria Singh's family is slightly different. Her mother is Mexican and her father is Indian at a time when interracial marriage was illegal, so neither are allowed to own l
A complex tale of #family, #sports, #immigration seemingly from a distant past, but so relevant today. The author weaves the complex tale to a satisfying ending leaving us cheering for Maria Singh all the way!
Quinn F
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
not a great book. Kind of boring
Bonnie Tesch
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young, inspiring
An excellent story, takes place in a little known Punjabi-Mexican-American community in Southern California.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid middle grade story addressing racism in the 1940s. Strong characters and great context!
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe Dimaggio
  • Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
  • This Is Just a Test
  • Steamboat School
  • Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
  • The Way Home Looks Now
  • Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (Fighting for Justice)
  • Flowers for Sarajevo
  • Dad, Jackie, and Me
  • A Morning with Grandpa
  • Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel
  • Ahimsa
  • Dash (Dogs of World War II)
  • The Babe  I
  • Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics
  • The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story
  • Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind
  • The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth