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February 2018 Sources
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It's Monday, what are you reading (March 05) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 12) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 19) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 26)

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Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh: 03/27/18

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami is set in California in the central valley during the early days of the Japanese internment. Maria Singh by today's standards, a typical California girl. Back then, not as much, being the daughter of a Sikh man and a Mexican woman.

What Maria loves more than anything is baseball. While she can't find a way to play it, she does find a compromise with a newly created softball league and team. Getting her parents to allow her to play in pants, takes some doing, but even that isn't an insurmountable challenge.

Just as things are shaping up for Maria there is the chance that her family will be evicted and the promised ball park won't be built. Both are because of racism and classism. With the "success" of forcing the Japanese out of their homes and off their land other immigrant families fear that they will be next.

On top of that, home buying was (and sadly still is, though not as overly so) stacked against anyone who isn't white and middle or upper class. Maria's family has the money to buy their home but can't because of how the laws are written.

On the home front, then, it's the story of how the Singh's save their home. On the community level, it's about how Maria and her friends convince their parents to rally to save the park that's been promised to them. Those two threads are then used to weave together a larger picture of what life was like back then with WWII, with the Indian independence movement, and the diaspora like feelings Mexican-American families had in the decades following California leaving Mexico and becoming part of the United States.

Five stars

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