Monday, February 1, 2016
By Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015. 240 p.
Astrid and her friend Nicole go with Astrid’s mom to “evenings of cultural entertainment”. Usually these evenings are outings to museums or poetry readings and the like. But one night they go to watch a roller derby. Astrid is in love. She wants to become a roller girl and go to roller derby camp. Only Nicole doesn’t. Nicole would rather go to ballet camp. As Astrid has to navigate friendships and a tough new sport—her ego (and her body) get a few bruises.
This is a great new comic book. It touches on a few important issues—like all the fears that come from the unknown of heading into middle school or the questions of friendship and can friendship survive different interests. And although Astrid does take a fall or two (which is basically inevitable when learning how to roller-skate), readers will cheer on this feisty, blue-haired girl who is navigating through her journey of self-discovery. And as a bonus, readers can learn more about the roller derby sport—which is quite awesome as well.
Roller Girl is a Newbery Honor book for 2016.