Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer. Her shoes have flames as she spins the ball down the spread-out sea of grass. But nothing makes her sad like soccer, too, because the restaurant where her auntie works is busy on game days and she can’t take time off to watch Sierra play. On game days, her auntie helps Sierra get ready and tells her, “Play hard and have fun.” And Sierra does, but she can’t help wishing she had someone there to root for her by name, and not just by the number on her uniform. With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines.
<p>Lauren Castillo has illustrated many picture books and has also written and illustrated several, including the Caldecott Honor book <i>Nana in the City</i>. She lives in Harrisburg, PA, and you can also find her at www.laurencastillo.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter @studiocastillo.</p>