Parent & Daughter Book Club – Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

3 min read

Our January book selection for girls in 4th and 5th grades is…

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Next week we’ll send everyone who has signed up for Book Club a Meeting Guide with Discussion Questions.

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About the Book

It only takes one night for Astrid to become obsessed with roller derby. She can’t wait to go to roller derby camp with her best friend Nicole. Unfortunately, Nicole has her heart set on ballet camp. Astrid doesn’t know if she’s going to survive roller derby camp without her best friend. Even worse, their friendship might not survive a summer of new experiences and new friends.

One things Astrid does know, roller derby camp is one of the hardest things she’s ever done. But, despite the bruises and sore muscles, she is having the time of her life.

The Girls Leadership Connection

Learning how to play roller derby is tough. Astrid needs persistence and resilience to get up every time she falls, and to go back to the track even when her body aches. Going for what she wants – a chance to play in a real bout in front of an audience – requires courage and hard work. She stays late for extra practice, asks for advice from her mentor, and keeps on practicing.

Being in relationships requires courage, too. Astrid feels so hurt about Nicole moving on that she blows up at her. Later in the story, she learns to communicate honestly, speaking from the heart and listening to what her friend has to say. She knows that she and Nicole might not be the best of friends, anymore. But, they might be able to appreciate each other’s differences. And, by listening to Nicole rather than shutting her out, Astrid learns how to be a better friend and teammate.

Buy, borrow, or download a copy of this book and read it before your January book club meeting.

About the Author

Victoria Jamieson is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Roller Girl is her first graphic novel. Ms Jamieson lives in Portland, Oregon, home of the 2016 Roller Derby World Champions, the Rose City Rollers. You can find out more about her at her author website.

Learn More

As the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, “…what I want to say to young girls, is forget about likability … The world is such a wonderful, diverse, and multifaceted place that there’s somebody who’s going to like you; you don’t need to twist yourself into shapes.” Her whole speech at the Girls Write Now 2015 awards ceremony is worth a listen. It’s very short, and your book club might enjoy discussing Ms Adichie’s statements about truth and likability. (Head’s up: there is a minor swear word in the speech.)

In her book Daring Greatly, Brené Brown writes that “fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”

Ask yourself, what kind of support do you need to simply be who you are? What can you do to support your daughter and others? To read more about Brené Brown’s research into belonging, shame, and whole-hearted living, check out her books and Ted Talks. You might even consider having a parents-only book club meeting. Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection are great reads for parents.

We can’t wait to hear what your book club thinks of this selection!

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