Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tween Roller Derby starring Astrid, the Rosedud

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (2015). 
ISBN: 978-0803740167. Reading levels grades 4-7, ages 9-12. 
Dewey Decimal: 741.5

Twelve-year old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole, but this summer is different. While Astrid goes to Roller Derby camp, Nicole goes to ballet camp with Astrid's mortal enemy, Rachel. Astrid struggles through the weeks of the camp as the newest skater by tripping, crashing, getting hit, and falling, but she learns that hard work pays off. The book is about more than roller derby: it’s about friendship, growing up, and identity.

Author Victoria Jamieson is a roller derby jammer from Portland, Oregon, and her characterization of the excitement and challenges of skating will make you want to see a roller derby match!

I recommend the author’s website as a resource for this book. Her website is located at and includes links to her two Web comics. One is about her true roller derby experiences as an adult. The other is an illustrated version of her diary from 1989. Both help the reader of Roller Girl understand how the book is part memoir and would be useful for identifying genre with students.

Roller Girl is an excellent text to work with for addressing CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.5--Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot. Students can examine the scene in which Astrid dyes her hair and how it contributes to the development of her characterization, identity, and independence.