Sunday, October 2, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (October 3, 2016): Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Edit (October 6, 2016): A formatting error has been fixed.

For MMGM, I'm recommending Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson.




Here's the publisher's description:

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!

As shown above, this is a graphic novel and the recipient of a Newbery Honor. But rest assured, there's no death! This book is actually very humorous (I love the drawing on page 159 depicting Astrid's hatred of clothes shopping), although it's not all fun and games (hence the Newbery Honor). Astrid and Nicole split apart in the book, due to both differences and character flaws, and the process of how Astrid is sad, makes a new friendship, and struggles are very realistic (and saddening). Astrid's relationship with her mom is also interesting, with Astrid often being mildly upset with her mom but also loving her. I love how the art is both pretty and contributes to the humor and plot. The sport of roller derby (which the author plays) is also interesting to learn about. All in all, Roller Girl is a great book that can be added to the ever-growing list of fabulous graphic novels.

8 comments:

  1. I finished this last week and almost reviewed it myself. Glad I didn't. I agree the subject matter was captivating and the art phenominal. Thanks for a great review!

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  2. I'm not much into graphic novels but after your review will give this one a try. The themes of change and friendship are often ones kids request.

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  3. This sounds like a humorous read for teens. I'm not a big fan of graphic novels, unless they are really well done. The artwork sounds great.

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  4. The author is in my SCBWI region, so I've been wanting to read it. I'm glad to hear there's no death. :) I don't read a lot of graphic novels either, but this sounds really good.

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  5. I got this book this summer after it was recommended to me A LOT :) I haven't read it yet, but I too love the art. Thanks for your review, I've got to get on this and read it!

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  6. This is the perfect book for my daughter. So glad you reviewed it! She prefers graphic novels and manga. Thanks! :)

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  7. I don't read a lot of graphic novels, but you make a compelling case for this one. Thanks for the review.

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  8. I love Sunny Side Up, too. Not as many books featuring the Bicentennial as I would like! This is really, really popular in my middle school library.

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