A historical novel and a sports story! Set in 1945, World War II is raging and racism and prejudice are felt on the home front. Highlighting a little know situation in California that affected immigrants, we learn that an influx of men from India who came to Yuba City where not allowed to marry women of different races. Single Indian women did not immigrate, so these men frequently married Mexican women as they were seen as belonging to the same race---“brown.”
Nine-year-old Maria Singh has an Indian father and a Mexican mother and home life is an interesting mix of both cultures. Maria longs to play softball and is desperate to convince her conservative Sikh father to let her join the first ever girls’ softball league. The family has bigger problems when the owner of the farm they work suddenly decides to sell. Papi is not allowed to become a US citizen and therefore can’t buy land. Prejudice and discrimination confront them while Maria is determined to follow her dream. She takes a risk and asks the school board for a playing field for all kids, boys and girls.
Feisty Maria is an ace ball player and this book is a homerun!
4th-5th grade, Character driven, Family life, Historical fiction, Global perspectives, Issues fiction, People of color