Roller Girl

Jamieson, V. (2015) Roller girl. New York, NY: The Penguin Group

Jamieson tells the story of Astrid's interesting summer between elementary and junior high school. Astrid's mother, who culturally enlightens her daughter from time to time, takes her to a roller derby bout for the first time.  Astrid is incredibly enthralled and knows that it's something her best friend Nicole and her would love to do together.  But... Nicole's sight is on ballet instead. Astrid is crushed that Nicole would rather dance ballet with Rachel, the worst person to ever exist, than hang out with her. This initiates a rough summer where Astrid will have to do things on her own, make new friends, and come to terms with some changes between her and her best friend Nicole. At the end of the story, Astrid comes to terms with not being a jammer (the player who scores the points) and having other friends besides Nicole.

I really liked this book.  Many middle school kids have to come to terms with letting go of elementary friends or friends they've had since early childhood.  This book is for that shy girl who feels out of place and now witnesses her friends moving in a different direction.  Furthermore, roller derby is a sport some would think has seen its better days.  I love that Jamieson brought it to the world of the middle school student. And the fact that Jamieson is an illustrator, author, and a roller derby girl is pretty cool. Confession: I liked it so much, I took out my DVD copy of Whip It, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, to watch and live vicariously through the life of a Texas roller derby girl in the making.

Here are other books geared for girls interested in roller derby. And one is a series!

Requirement: Great Graphic Novels for Teens
Book covers found on