- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805080236
- ISBN-13: 978-0805080230
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Derby Girl Hardcover – September 4, 2007
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“Sharp humor dominates this entertaining debut from Cross, who weaves her own experience with roller derby into the fun and traumas of a small-town girl experiencing major rebellion. . . . plenty of laughs and adolescent insights . . . exuberant and insightful.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Roller derby . . . is conveyed with sexy, enthusiastic energy that injects the whole novel with a warm and authentic vibe.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
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the book was fluffy and enjoyable, but for a book written to empower girls to follow their dreams and carve out places to fit in, and a book glorifying the inclusive pro-girl sport of roller derby, the book was rife with fatphobia- on almost every other page, bliss complains about fat tourists, fat customers at her restaurant, roller derby women who are fat, any woman who is fatter than she is, and how fat her mother is. what a bummer.
Bliss has never been athletic and at the Derby tryouts she has to pretend she is already 18, but after some streaking laps around the track in her old Barbie skates she earns a spot on the Hurl Scouts team (think a gang of bad-girl girl scouts.) To get to the team's practices in Austin she has to tell her parents she's taking an SAT prep class and hitch a ride on the senior center's bingo bus.
Of course the local Miss Bluebonnet beauty pageant is on the same night as the biggest derby event of the season.
A fast, fun read. If you enjoyed the movie, you'll love the book--the author wrote the screen play--and if love the book you'll want to see the movie. With smart dialog and family members that bicker but ultimately come through for each other, Whip It reminds me a little of the movie Juno--and of course Ellen Page stars in both.
Bliss hasn't been on skates for years, but after a wobbly start (which I could so relate to), she finds her balance (and her derby persona, Babe Ruthless) and is soon jamming and blocking with the rest of the team. Here's a quote: "At practice, the humiliation factor decreases as my skating improves. Even though I'm covered in bruises, aka 'derby kisses,' I feel surprisingly proud of what I'm learning to do. (It's so weird; I'm kind of like a jock.)" Ha! Every derby girl knows what those 'derby kisses' are all about.
Set against the backdrop of Austin's derby scene, Bliss has many experiences that average teens will recognize--clueless parents, first love, and BFF issues. Through it all, Bliss understands herself and is not afraid to stand up for who she is and what she needs. Her independence and sarcastic wit hooked me right away.