If you have read my bio or know me at all you may recall that I hated reading until I was a junior in college. I may be one of the few librarians out there that avoided books and libraries my entire childhood. I was definitely a reluctant reader. If I was a 4th through 7th grade girl now this book would be a great fit. It's a fun quick read about a girl I can understand why she is feeling, thinking, and doing certain things. Plus, it has a lot of pictures. Win.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamiesan won a Newbery Honor Award this year. That's an award for the best juvenile aka children's books. The Last Stop on Market Street won the medal this year, and that is a great picture book. However, Roller Girl is a fast read graphic novel with some gorgeous colorful pictures.
I gave Roller Girl 5 out of 5 stars aka I think this book is fabulous and perfect for girls that like to read and don't like to read. This book is relatable as it deals with friendships and finding yourself. It's a great book with great pictures, and I love that Jamiesan wrote and illustrated this fun read.
I also love that I learned a lot about Roller Derby; I knew nothing about the sport when I started and finished feeling like I could go watch one and understand it.
I also love Astrid as a character. I feel the emotions she had and the experience she went through of finding out who you are is valuable for kids. As an elementary and middle school librarian I would be recommending this book to girls, especially girls that don't enjoy reading. With Astrid being a girl I think most boys will have a difficult time reading this book.
Graphic novels are great for reluctant readers, and these colorful pictures that tell such a relatable story are perfect for all kids especially the reluctant ones. Roller Girl is definitely a fun read that is worthy of it's Newbery Honor Award; I imagine it'll be a book kids, especially girls, will enjoy reading for many years.
Amazon had the following book review from School Library Journal:
"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."
Happy Fun and Colorful Middle Grade Graphic Novel Reading!
What are you reading?