Roller Girl

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
2965   0
Write Review
Roller Girl
Age Range
9+
Release Date
March 10, 2015
ISBN
9780803740167
Buy This Book
      
For fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. 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 her graphic novel debut, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverence, and girl power

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Filled with Action and Heart

This review isn’t sufficient to list all the things I love about Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, but I’ll try to stem the massive amounts of fangirling that’s happening in my heart.

When Astrid’s mom takes her to watch her first roller derby match, Astrid knows right then and there that she’s meant to play derby. After her mom signs her up for roller derby summer camp, Astrid assumes this will be the best summer ever, until her best friend Nicole tells her she’d rather go to dance camp than roller derby camp. Upset and alone, Astrid finds herself in the often-frightening position of trying something new on your own. Nicole has been a constant in her life forever, how will she ever make it through the summer without her?

I’m typically not one for graphic novels, but Roller Girl may have just converted me to the genre completely. The novel was illustrated and written by Victoria Jamieson, and the first thing I realized was her talent was equable in both the design and structure of her novel. The story and illustrations flowed together seamlessly, proving that Jamieson is just as strong a writer as she is an illustrator - which I am so appreciative of.

Astrid is my new hero - she shares her fears and frustrations that come from learning a new sport with a humorous honesty that brings her character to life. Not only does this book highlight a great sport, but it also makes it accessible to the reader who may not know much about roller derby (like myself). By the end of the book I was ready to strap on skates and take some hits!

However, this book is about so much more than roller derby. Astrid struggles to find herself after she and her best friend begin to drift apart. During the summer before junior high, nonetheless! This story highlights the emotional confusion that comes of growing up, learning to change, explore different passions, and make new friends. As Astrid learns this for herself, she’s then able to extend that same emotional grace to those around her.

My absolute favorite part of the novel was the fact that Astrid doesn’t strap on skates and become the best athlete of the group. No, she STRUGGLES to get better. She puts in lots of extra work to make even the smallest amount of progress, and even when she does progress, (mild spoiler) she doesn’t get the position on the team she thinks she deserves. I believe it’s important to show that sometimes, even when you have tons of heart and put in hours of training, you don’t always win. Winning isn’t the message of this story - learning to persevere when disappointment comes and knocks you off your feet (literally in Astrid’s case), is the life-blood of Roller Girl. Astrid is a heroine who demonstrates the power of getting back up and trying again, and again.

In the end, this book filled to the brim with action, obstacles, and a diverse cast of girls who all embody facets of strength. Sometimes life doesn’t go how we planned. Sometimes even our best friends will let us down, but as Astrid learns who she is, she gives the reader the same permission to be brave and take risks; learning that often our challenges can lead to the best personal discoveries of all.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
By her fourteenth birthday, Babe Killingsworth measures 6ʹ9ʺ and weighs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the latest...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Truman
After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
Hang on tight for a raucous bounce through the solar...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fallen Empires (Cleopatra in Space #5)
Cleo goes into hiding after a mysterious death at Yasiro...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Season
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued; in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Exact Opposite of Okay
Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend,...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Viral
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Patron Saints of Nothing
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
This Time Will Be Different
For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant
This honest, laugh-out-loud novel brimming with body positivity, bite-sized nuggets...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Carnival Catastrophe (The Problim Children, #2)
All siblings are capable of magic if they stick together....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
As Far as the Stars
Christopher is the sort of guy that no one...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Virtue of Sin
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
OverRun (The OverRuled Series, book 2)
TWO LIVES BOUND BY ONE LIE. Magic has consequences—...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
 
4.0
"PROFESSOR RENOIR'S COLLECTION OF ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND DELIGHTS primarily follows Babe, a fourteen-year-old girl who has gigantism. She already stands..."
Truman
 
5.0
"TRUMAN is an unbelievably sweet story about a tortoise. Truman the tortoise lives with his best friend and owner Sarah,..."
The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
 
4.0
"THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD features cartoony planets and drawings along with poems on each page. Topical, clever,..."
Fallen Empires (Cleopatra in Space #5)
 
3.5
"I'm a huge fan of graphic novels and this series is one that is sure to appeal to those who..."
Carnival Catastrophe (The Problim Children, #2)
 
4.0
"CARNIVAL CATASTROPHE follows the seven Problim children as they continue their search for their mother. The seven siblings must work..."
Big Red School (Clifford)
 
5.0
"CLIFFORD: BIG RED SCHOOL follows Emily Elizabeth and Clifford as they create a special school just for Clifford. Clifford loves..."
I Got Next
 
4.0
"I GOT NEXT is a picture book about self-confidence. A boy encourages himself to challenge the other kids who are..."
A Friend for Bently
 
4.0
"A FRIEND FOR BENTLY is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship. Bently is the only pig on the farm..."
The Great Pumpkin Contest
 
5.0
"THE GREAT PUMPKIN CONTEST is a sweet and fun read about friendship. Mimi and her neighbor Clara are each entering..."
Save Your Friends!
 
3.5
"SAVE YOUR FRIENDS! is a simple, interactive story told in speech bubbles. The shark is about to eat your friends,..."
Dibs!
 
5.0
"DIBS! is a story about brotherhood. Julian constantly calls dibs on toys and snacks from his younger brother Clancy. Clancy..."
Where Are You From?
 
5.0
"WHERE ARE YOU FROM? is a stunning celebration of heritage/ancestry as well as an acknowledgment of the unnecessary question. A..."
Out of Place
 
5.0
"OUT OF PLACE is an absolutely gorgeous story about bullying and feeling alone. Cove lives with her mother on Martha’s..."
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
 
3.0
"THE STARTUP SQUAD follows primarily Theresa (Resa) as she and a group of three other girls compete in a contest..."
A Possibility of Whales
 
4.0
"THE POSSIBILITY OF WHALES is a middle grade contemporary story that deals with a lot. Natalia Rose (Nat) is almost..."
Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
 
5.0
"PEPPA IN SPACE is a fun picture book, featuring Peppa Pig and her family as they learn about space and..."
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
 
3.5
"We are all familiar with the Itsy Bitsy Spider, who climbs up the water spout before being rained out- but..."
Even Monsters Go To School
 
5.0
"This book is so completely adorable it's hard to figure out where to begin. The story is about..."
Can Cat and Bird Be Friends
 
3.5
"This was an odd one. Cat and bird are trying to determine if they can be friends or..."
Pig the Stinker
 
4.5
"PIG THE STINKER follows Pig the Pug on a new adventure- bath time! Pig does not like to bathe, and..."