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  • Renee Anderson

READ THIS! - Roller Girl

I am a massive fan of graphic novels. Not just because kids love them, but I genuinely love them too. Lots of grown ups think they're not “real” reading, but that's baloney. Someday I'll throw together a post about why graphic novels are so awesome. For this month's Read This! I'm psyched to recommend one of my favorite graphic novels - Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson.

I can't tell you how many copies of Roller Girl I've bought for my classroom over the last few years. It’s so popular that every copy quickly gets battered and in need of replacement.

You know how hard it is for kids when a friend seems suddenly uninterested in them? This book is about that. And it handles the emotions and crazy thoughts of that situation in the most honest what-it’s-really-like way. Not like most friendship books, which are written from an it'll-be-great-in-the-end perspective. Don't be fooled by the bright, beautiful artwork, Roller Girl is a book full of complex emotional work.

You're probably thinking it sounds like a downer. Why would kids be crazy to read a book full of the doubt, anger, and confusion that comes with a childhood friendship ending? Because Roller Girl is also full of strong, unique women kicking butt in Roller Derby. And, because it turns out that learning something new leads to epic fails. Roller Girl stays solidly away from cliche sports movies where, with enough hard work, you can win the championship.

But my favorite thing about Roller Girl is that the women and girls in this book are anything but stereotypes. I was a tomboy growing up and I can't tell you how reassuring it would have been to have this book in my hands as a kid. There are countless forms of gender expression included. It's not everyday you find a book for kids that includes women who are more masculine or who have piercings and tattoos.

I can't recommend Roller Girl enough. It's just great! Give it a read and pass it on to all the kids in your life.

Recommendation Written by - Amanda Northrup

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