Monday, April 13, 2015

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson


ABOUT THE 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!

See here for more information about the author and a free e-book about the creation of Roller Girl.

REVIEW

For readers who enjoyed Raina Telgemeier comes a fully colorized graphic novel about friendship, family, and trying new things.  After seeing a roller derby match, Astrid develops a strong desire to learn how to play herself.  Her mother signs her up for roller derby camp thinking that Astrid's friend Nicole is doing it with her, but Nicole is going to ballet camp with Rachel, Astrid's nemesis. 

Astrid discovers to her chagrin that roller derby is a lot harder than she thought.  But she's not a quitter so she keeps with it even though she lies to her mom about Nicole's mom driving her home every day.  As things between her and Nicole deteriorate further, Astrid is forced to face the fact that growing up isn't easy and that we don't always get what we want.

I can highly recommend this graphic novel, both for the wonderful illustrations but for how easy the characters are to relate to.  The troubles that Astrid faces are very common ones for middle grade age readers and the addition of a relatively unknown sport makes the book all the more entertaining. 





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