… the thrills (and spills) of roller derby? Astrid hadn’t until her mom took Astrid and her best friend, Nicole, out for an Evening of Cultural Enlightenment. As an ECE, roller derby is a vast improvement over the opera and the modern art gallery. Now that Astrid has seen the excitement, she’s determined to become a Roller Girl herself, in this great book by Victoria Jamieson. Astrid even has the perfect opportunity with the junior roller derby camp! She isn’t a great skater, but she’s positive that Nicole will help her. They’re best friends, so of course Nicole is going to camp, too. They do everything together! Don’t they?
This is a great book about following your dreams, even when they’re hard and painful. Astrid assumes that she’ll be great at roller derby because she loves it. She runs headfirst into a hard dose of reality (not to mention the floor) on her first day of camp. Roller Girl is also about growing up and growing apart from your friends. Astrid and Nicole have done everything together for years, but Nicole loves ballet the way Astrid loves roller derby. Doing different things and making new friends drives a wedge between them.
Victoria Jamieson does a great job with Astrid! She’s a very realistic girl, with all of the charms and flaws that entails. Nicole, Astrid’s mom, and many of the other secondary characters are also fully realized people with their own personalities. Astrid and her friends (and even her mom) learn and grow over the course of the book. Whether you’re a roller derby fan like Astrid, a ballet enthusiast like Nicole, or your own person with your own style, give this book a try!
Reviewed by Fran (staff)