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Author: Jamieson, Victoria
A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 173345
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 66005
Newbery Honor, 2016
School Library Journal (+) (00/12/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/04/15)
The Hornbook (00/03/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 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 - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2015 Almost-middle-schooler Astrid (“Ass-Turd” to the mean girls) just isn’t interested in the kinds of things everyone else is. Her BFF Nicole likes boys and ballet and the color pink, but Astrid’s new obsession is tough, fast-paced Roller Derby. She thinks she and Nicole can spend their summer together at junior Roller Derby camp, but Nicole opts instead for ballet camp with Astrid’s archnemesis. And when it turns out that Astrid isn’t quite the Roller Derby prodigy she had hoped to be (she can barely master falling!), it seems both her summer and the impending start of junior high will be disasters. The bright, detailed, and colorful illustrations convey Astrid’s scrappy personality while also focusing on the high-contact aspect of Roller Derby: the girls hip check and elbow one another right out of the panels. While learning the game, Astrid learns how to be a friend and, maybe, that not all friendships are forever. A touching look at the ups and downs of following one’s dreams, in addition to introducing readers to a relatively unknown sport. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2015 In this sharp and engaging graphic novel, Astrid and her best friend, Nicole, have always done everything together, so Astrid has just assumed Nicole would join her for roller-derby camp. Readers will spot trouble right away in reticent Nicole’s evasion of the topic, so it is little surprise when Nicole chooses ballet camp and boy-watching instead, leaving Astrid without an emotional safety net or a literal ride home from the rink (she walks/skates it instead). In addition, Astrid’s not quite the roller derby prodigy she imagined, and she’s bumped, bruised, and exhausted every single day. There is a delicious, albeit painful, absurdity in the distance between how impressive Astrid thought she would be and the skills she is actually bringing to the table (she didn’t really know how to skate, for example); readers will sympathize, and it is also makes for effective humor. The dynamic between Astrid and her single mother is impeccably developed-it is clear how Astrid became the headstrong, confident girl she is under the care of a woman who shrugs and admits her long-standing disdain for Astrid’s old best friend (and that girl’s mother) before lovingly addressing her daughter’s grief. The roller derby elements are sprinkled like candy throughout, with clever names, hip derby terminology, a kickass mentor structure that is authentically described, and even a full exhibition match to absorb. Crisp, bright illustrations (think Raina Telgemeier) primarily reflect the text, though there are moments of true slump, dejection, or weariness that are perfectly conveyed in the illustrations that would have been difficult to express without them. Expect follow-up requests for roller derby books, even from readers who might have imagined themselves to be more aligned with Nicole. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.