In a former life, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. My family lived a few minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and a hop, skip, and a ferry ride would transport us to the city. Sometimes we’d take a ride to the Ferry Building and hit up the farmer’s market and others, straight to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. I still get chills when I think about gazing out over the Bay during the national anthem, the Fire Boats spraying water, the eager kayakers in position to catch foul balls, the swell of American pride in my heart.
Speaking of baseball and the Giants, here’s a catch of a new illustrated chapter book by Giants in-game reporter, Amy Gutierrez, and Ariana Killoran. Amy G, as she is known, brings us the story of Marty, official Little League scorekeeper. The reader meets Marty as she is heading out the door with her kid brother, Mikey, to his game. We learn of Marty’s affection for her great grandmother, Gigi, who taught her the ins and outs of baseball and scorekeeping. We also learn that Marty will need to “expand her duties” to fill in as announcer for the West Side Wingers–East Side Eagles game.
Nothing ventured is nothing gained.” –Marty’s dad (18).
Marty makes it through her first game as announcer and is offered the job for future games. She is elated but there’s just one thing standing in her way: Sammy the Smash, who thinks baseball is no sport for a girl. Marty almost gives up on her announcement gig but after some encouragement from her family and her own teammates, Marty stands strong in the face of criticism and rises to the challenge.
What I appreciate about this book is the strong and supportive relationship Marty has with her friends and her mother (they even have their own signs!) and the way the book tackles emotion. Marty navigates a range of strong emotions and it’s great for young readers to witness a positive role model handle everything from fear and anger to doubt, anxiety, and insecurity.
Dust off your mitt, throw on a cap, and make room in your book lineup for Marty Steps Up Her Game.