Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Publisher: Dial Books
Published: 10th March 2015
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones
Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.
Having heard a lot of good things about this book, I decided to take it upon myself to purchase it – and boy am I glad that I did. Everything I heard was completely on point. Roller Girl is a fantastic, easy to read and emotional story that I devoured in one sitting. It is the kind of book that children who struggle to read are likely to enjoy as it is more of a graphic novel than a regular novel. On top of that, it contains an intriguing and addictive story so that it is incredibly hard to put the book down. I would be happy to read absolutely anything that Victoria Jamieson now writes.
On top of the moving story line in the book, there are also absolutely fantastic illustrations. Throughout the book, Victoria uses her art to convey emotions and actions incredibly well. Using colour efficiently and sizing effectively, she really manages to make the book such an interesting and visual read. This is one of the main reasons I really loved this book. I’m not a big reader of graphic novels – I like them but don’t prioritize them – but with Roller Girl, everything just flows so well together that I didn’t even realise I was reading a graphic novel at the end. Words and images just flowed together seamlessly.
It is a different art form and talent to be able to create a wonderfully captive graphic novel as there is less space for descriptive words, meaning that directions and speech take centre stage. Victoria Jamieson has done a fantastic job of using these elements effectively to create a book which is easy to read and understand. I did know a little about Roller Derby before reading the book but this book makes it seem entertaining and exciting. A sport that I think I definitely would have loved to have tried as a child – not so much now!
All in all this is a book which I think a lot of children would find very entertaining. It’s a great book for both reluctant readers and readers looking for something a little bit different. It makes sport exciting, looks at the importance of responsibility and touches upon friendship troubles as a child as well. It’s a good well-packaged book that I truly loved reading, would highly recommend and will be keeping tabs on the author from now on as well. I am also very much wanting to read more Roller Derby books too so if you know of any…