Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Published by Dial Books

Summary:  Astrid and her best friend Nicole seem to be drifting apart as they get ready to enter junior high. When her mother takes the two girls to the roller derby, Astrid discovers her passion.  She tries to convince Nicole to sign up for roller derby camp with her, but Nicole prefers ballet.  Astrid goes anyway, and the four weeks of camp turn out to be life-changing for her.  As the youngest and least experienced member of the group, she has the hardest time getting into shape, and spends more time lying on the rink floor than skating.  But she also makes a friend, dyes her hair, and gets a new derby name.  By the time the girls get to do an exhibition bout, Astrid is still the weakest player, but she’s learned enough to be able to contribute to her team at a crucial moment.

Pros:  Middle grade readers will cheer for Astrid as she learns how to be herself and to navigate the tricky waters of girls’ friendships.  Fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Sisters will love Roller Girl.

Cons:  Graphic novels like this take too long to create…I can’t wait to read the next installment of Astrid’s story

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