- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Lexile Measure: GN440L (What's this?)
- Series: Roller Girl
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Dial Books; 1 edition (March 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803740166
- ISBN-13: 978-0803740167
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 365 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Roller Girl Paperback – March 10, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Twelve-year-old Astrid realizes that her interests are distinctly different from those of her best friend. Mesmerized while viewing a roller derby, she dreams of becoming a "Roller Girl" but discovers that the sport is considerably more daunting than she imagined and is not without physical, social, and emotional pain. Nevertheless, Astrid is determined to succeed. While this graphic novel provides interesting information about the sport, at its heart it is a story of friendship, exploring the tensions which test the girls' relationship as they move from childhood to adolescence. Astrid learns to be honest with herself, her mother, and her friends through a series of stressful events. The graphic novelist employs several excellent visual devices: angles to denote action and effective placement and space within panels. Jamieson's clever use of imagery is noteworthy. For example, desert and prehistoric depictions are used to suggest exaggerated perceptions of elapsed time. Her clothes shopping "hell" sequence is spot-on. Panels with stick figures are employed for comments, notes, and explanations. A prologue effectively frames the story and the realistic style with full-color art is reminiscent of the work of Raina Telgemeier. While at times some panels are a bit text-dense, the story will engage readers who will identify with Astrid as she deals with frustrations and disappointments. It will especially appeal to those whose aspirations fly in the face of convention. Offer this comic to fans of Telgemeier's Smile (Scholastic, 2010) and Laura Lee Gulledge's Page by Paige (Abrams, 2011).—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
A Newbery Honor book
2016-2017 Texas Bluebonnet Award winner
A New York Times Bestseller
A Spring 2015 Indie Next Pick
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015
A New York Public Library Best Book for Reading and Sharing of 2015
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2015
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015
A Top 10 Latin@ Book of 2015
A Parents Magazine Best Children's Book of 2015
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2015
A Texas Bluebonnet Award 2016-2017 nominee
A 2016 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers selection
A 2016 YALSA Popular Paperback selection
An ALA Notable Children's Book of 2016
A 2015 Nerdy Book Club Award Winner for Best Graphic Novel
“Roller Girl's message of self-discovery, friendship, and perseverance will roll its way right into your heart.” —Raina Telgemeier, New York Times bestselling author of Sisters
“This spiky, winning graphic novel captures the bittersweetness of finding a new passion and saying goodbye to your former, more uncertain self.” —New York Times Book Review
* "Jamieson captures this snapshot of preteen angst with a keenly decisive eye, brilliantly juxtaposing the nuances of roller derby with the twists and turns of adolescent girls' friendships...Full of charm and moxie—don't let this one roll past." —Kiruks, starred review
* “The story will engage readers… Offer this comic to fans of Telgemeier’s Smile and Laura Lee Gulledge’s Page by Paige.”—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Readers will stand up and cheer."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Jamieson’s dialogue captures coming-of-age…so authentically"—Horn Book, starred review
* "[A] sharp and engaging graphic novel”—BCCB, starred review
"Visually, Roller Girl is very appealing — think Lynn Johnston with a modern edge — but it's the storytelling that really sets this graphic novel apart…A great choice for tween girls, whether they're remaking themselves, renegotiating friendships or just weathering the stormy seas of early adolescence." —Chicago Tribune
Top customer reviews
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I think it would resonate best with kids who are 9-to-14--a time when children run into a lot of misunderstandings coupled with hormones. I remember being exactly that age as a couple long-term friends and I split apart with our differences. The main character (Astrid) has a lot of intense emotions that are experienced at that age and comes to the understanding that she was actually part of the issue when it comes to the demise of her friendship with her best friend (Nicole). She realizes she was caught up in her own world and stopped paying attention to the person Nicole grew into. They seemed to make peace they were taking different paths, but it's up in the air whether or not they will be friends. It seems like a parent could mention is that it's okay (good even) to have friends in different aspects of your life. They don't have to share all your interests. You don't have to part ways even if the main things you love are very different.
I am not completely sure about the message at the end. Astrid chooses to eat dinner with her roller derby friends instead of Nicole after the game. That is okay except Astrid leaves Nicole's gift of flowers at the bleachers. I know it's meant to be powerfully symbolic, but it seems so wasteful. Why not regift them?
But perhaps I am overthinking this. The book is still a good message for girls as we woman are too often pressured to put others' feelings in front of ours or hang onto a relationship as long as possible—which actually makes things worse. It also touches on a subject that seems to be pretty universal for tweens and young teens—even those who don't play/like roller derby.
On a side note, this graphic novel is broken up into easy-to-read chapters and has a story line that is A) ORIGINAL, and B) WELL-WRITTEN. There are moments where you have to reconsider your own ideas and you want the character to make different moves, but that is the GOOD part about it. Allowing a protagonist to make mistakes is part of realism that is necessary for a person to relate.
It is also really important that she did not instantly go from novice to expert, and that all her hard work did not culminate in her exactly dream fulfillment. She had to be committed and focused, and managed to get better. That is all for which anyone might ask.
I just wanted there to be more than one book. What happens to Astrid after these events? If the book is still called "Roller Girl" then she must stick with roller derby, but what does she do.
My middle school students loved the story, and related to the friend drama. Very empowering and realistic story of grit and perseverance, as well as being brave to pursue your dreams.
Purchased on a whim, because we had to recommended by a local Roller derby girl. *(Naptown).
My daughter is happy so I am thrilled.