Book Review: Roller Girl

It's no secret I'm sort of involved with local roller derby, so when I heard about a children's graphic novel that included the sport, I had to give it a quick read!

Roller Girl
By Victoria Jamieson
2015
240 pages

Astrid is twelve, just about to go into junior high, and is in the process of losing her best friend to ballet and boys. Her life changes though after she attends her first roller derby game, and promptly falls in love with the sport! But attending roller derby camp turns out to be not as easy as it looks, and adding friend drama and pre-teen girl drama means it's going to be a rough summer for Astrid. Will she find her feet? Will she find a new friend?

Yeah, so I'm not the target demographic for this book, but I tell ya, I probably would've loved reading it when I was twelve years old! It's the story of a misfit girl, one who isn't into boys and fashion (like me as a kid), and about how she deals with jealous-girl-friend-drama issues (like me as a kid), all set around roller derby (like me as an adult!). I think the author hit the spot with the preteen girl social issues, and she did an excellent job portraying the lingo and general atmosphere of the roller derby world. You could tell she did her homework with the roller derby stuff, and I actually really liked that Astrid sucked at derby - we can't all be superstars but when she was having fun she was happy and that's all that counts and should be communicated to recreational athletes, right?! The artwork was simple, cute and colourful, and overall made it a pleasure to read.

I'd recommend this book to any young girl, especially those who aren't into boys and fashion, and/or think roller derby is neat. It will help sooth the soul, and encourage girls to play derby, which can often be a confidence booster for those who don't fit in. So pick it up for the kid in your life, or grab it from the library and spend an hour reading it to learn about the roller derby world!

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