Roller Girl

Victoria Jamieson
A perfect holiday gift for 10-year-old girls and fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile! Roller Girl is 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! From the Trade Paperback edition.


Reviewed: 2019-05-03

This graphic novel was printed with vibrant, full color illustrations which aid in context understanding and plot development. The characters spring to life from the page. Though the parents, and other adults are secondary characters, they are not flat. The moms act like moms. In response to Astrid being surprised that her mom planned something fun for them to do during the "Evening of Cultural Enlightenment" she says, "Your old mom is all right from time to time.". It does not feel awkward or fake. I think that parents reading this would relate to Astrid's mom and the balance she tries to strike in her parenting. The main character, Astrid, is wonderfully crafted. She's selfish, a little narcissistic, and she's learning. Her actions drive the plot, and the theme of growing up shines through in the lessons she learns. Victoria Jamieson's art and writing come together seamlessly. Her use of color brings out the emotional states of her characters. The sense of wonder when Astrid first sees the roller derby women, is obvious. It is difficult to balance art and text in graphic novels. One cannot get in the way of the other without negatively affecting the story. Jamieson gets it on the nose. Her art serves the story at every moment as extensions of the text and speech. Nothing comes off as unnecessary or excessive. Advanced readers will love how the art tells more of the story and reluctant readers will not feel bogged down by a wall of text. The story is neatly broken up into chapters in a way that slower readers can feel okay with setting the book down if they need to, as well. I highly recommend this book for 4th and 5th grade readers.

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@rikikikitaco began #rollergirl... on 2019-04-30
@rikikikitaco completed #rollergirl... on 2019-04-30