Where I come from, football is more than a sport; it’s a way of life. It’s religion. It’s everything. Here in Wisconsin, we have the Green Bay Packers. America’s Team! The Frozen Tundra! “If it bleeds, it leads,” is not the leading tenet for the news; football outranks all. We don’t recognize the seasons as summer, fall, winter, and spring. Rather, it’s pre-season, football season, winter, and construction. So, what’s an unathletic, non-sports-fan, book nerd reader such as myself to do? The answer is read From the Sideline by Amy Avanzino.
Single mom Autumn is, like me, unmoved by the cheers and chants of football fans and would much rather be binge watching reality TV than channel surfing for the best NFL game. However, when her ten-year-old son asks to try out for the local football league, Autumn agrees and finds herself, rather shamefully, hoping that her little boy does not make the cut. Not only does he make the team, Zachary becomes the heart of the team, inspiring his teammates and coaches and turning Autumn into a raving, rampaging, football mom. Along the way, we readers see Autumn transform. She grows in confidence and self respect and, while she may make a few missteps along the way, Autumn’s path is studded with a lot of great moments.
I’m not a parent, but I found a lot to relate to in Autumn. Author Amy Avanzino writes her with a skillful touch – she’s more than a name on a page; she’s warm and funny and honest and wonderfully imperfect. And she does everything she does with her son in mind and at heart. I can’t tell you how many times I was grinning and giggling and, yes, even snorting with laughter, as I read From the Sideline.It’s an absolute delight – funny, sharp, and full of heart. I couldn’t wait to keep reading and I was a little bit sad when the story was over. I can’t wait to see what comes next from Amy Avanzino – I’ll be first in line to scoop up the new story.
About the Book
After losing her marriage, life savings, and waistline, Autumn Kovac is terrified of being hit by more heartache. So when her only child decides to try out for the football team, the overprotective, sports-illiterate mom has a near phobic reaction. But Zachary hasn’t smiled since his father left, and she’s desperate to make him happy (and doing nothing and hoping for the best hasn’t been working). She reluctantly enters a new world of youth competitive sports, full of overzealous coaches with Vince Lombardi dreams and fanatical parents trying to achieve vicarious glory.
Unexpectedly, Autumn begins transforming within this strangely addictive new culture, finding her voice, facing her past, tackling her fears…and uncovering the secret that’s been keeping her from her son. After meeting her ideal catch, she finds herself back in the dating game and discovers some fierce competition of her own. Will Autumn make it off the sideline? Can the underdog finally win?
Related subjects include: chick lit, women’s fiction, humor, humorous fiction, rom com, romantic comedy, friendship.
About the Author
Amy Avanzino received a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from the University of Washington. She is a former special education teacher who has spent the last several years writing and doing extensive hands-on research for her Wake-Up Series, the first of which is Wake-Up Call. She’s a contributing writer of Hap Scotch, a play performed at the 2008 Frigid Festival in New York, which won two Audience Choice Awards.
Amy currently lives in the stands above the football fields, basketball courts, and baseball diamonds around Folsom, California with her husband and four children.