Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile!
For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.
In this graphic novel debut that earned a Newbery Honor and five starred reviews, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverance, and girl power!
About: Roller Girl was a graphic novel middle grade fiction written by Victoria Jamieson. It was published on 3/10/2015 by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, hardcover, 240 pages. The genres are middle grade, realistic fiction, contemporary, and graphic novel. This book was intended for readers ages 9 to 12, grades 4 to 7. According to Penguin’s website, “Dial publishes books for two through teen that aim to entertain, enrich, and encourage our readers. We care deeply about diversity and about artistic excellence. Established in 1961, Dial Books for Young Readers was an early pioneer of titles for the very young, including the first quality board books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Roller Girl on 5/21/2020 and finished it on 5/22/2020. This book was recommended to me by a fellow bookstagrammer. I gave it to my 8 years old and he loved it so much that he read it 3 times! It’s no wonder because I absolutely loved this book! I read it in one sitting from 10:30pm to 2:30am! The story was on roller derby and I knew nothing about it so it was fascinating to learn. Astrid’s skating skills was terrible and every time she fell, it reminded me of how I fell when I first learned to skate. I loved the message this book was teaching young readers: “If you want something badly enough, you just have to work harder than everyone else to get it.” This story also taught readers to let the spotlight shine on someone else and it was absolutely a lesson my son needed.
This book followed Astrid, 12, as she and her best friend Nicole went to see Roller Derby with Astrid’s mom. Astrid became obsessed with being a Roller Girl. The next day, she and Nicole went skating, except, Astrid didn’t know how to skate. That wasn’t the bad news because Nicole had other plans for her summer camp and it’s not Roller Derby. Astrid was left on her own to do something she’s not good at.
Roller Girl was so much fun to read! The humor was contagious and I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud. I like the friendship portion of this book as well. I loved the mother daughter relationship. I liked how Astrid’s mom took her some places like the museum and as much as Astrid hated those places, she also armed with knowledge when she needed it. Astrid’s true feelings on shopping and dresses was funny. I loved the illustrations. A definitely must read book, I highly recommended this story to everyone!
Pro: friendship, roller derby, mother daughter relationship, fast paced, humor, illustrations
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Victoria Jamieson received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children’s book designer before becoming a full-time illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. She now lives with her family in Pennsylvania. (Info obtained from Penguin’s website).