Skip to main content

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson
ages 9-12
Dial Books, 2015

I've always been a huge fan of coming of age stories. The ones out there tend to lean heavy in the boy coming of age direction, though and I'm a girl. Often that doesn't matter. I learned so much from Vince Vawter's Paperboy and from Gary Schmidt's Okay For Now. When it came to girl coming of age books though, I often found myself wondering why so many just became good and a bit more girly. That's not who I am and I could never identify.
Along came Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl and changed all that. At 47, I grew up a little bit more after reading this book. I loved how Astrid changed and accepted who she was but let the past be what it needed to be as well--a part of her heart. I loved the scene where Astrid and her friend dye her hair blue:
Every 10 minutes or so she'd peek in and say cryptic things like, Oh, yes--we're cooking with fire now! ...  And now we add the blue. This is where things get better.
This is a scene right out of my own life when I let a friend cut half my hair short so it would look cooler with my new black rubber bracelets and earrings and swing down long on the other side.

The great thing is that I didn't bring this book home, my 8 year old daughter did. I found her up late last night saying she couldn't go to sleep until the book was finished. I had to know what was so great, so I read it myself today. What a great feeling to know my daughter and I can read the same book at 8 and 47 years old and get great things from it. This is the book, I shall remember, the one that showed me how special graphic novels can be.


  1. The first graphic novel I read and enjoyed was Sunny Side Up. The problem is when I bring them in to the room, they disappear. I bought Roller Girl at the book fair this week and immediately went home with a student. I should read them first before I release them to the wild.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Find Their Gifts

When I work with gifted kids, I'm amazed by their lack of understanding about what interests them. They know how to surf the net exhaustively for Youtube videos that make them laugh, but not what skills and practices further their interests.

Developing interests and passions is critical to these students. Many people out there tell me that this is not just for gifted kids, that their average developing child needs to know how to do this too. While of course I agree that this is true, I also think that typical academic, fine arts, and sports programs are available in most communities are enough to engage and motivate most kids. Not true of gifted children who become jaded, disinterested, and shut down quickly when a program doesn't meet their needs.
Most people think of gifted students as being prodigies who know exactly where their gifts lie. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I often question if some children who are identified as gifted will ever find thei…

Writing Short, Day 1

I've taken a new position. I'm now an editor and writer at a company called We Are Teachers. I do some article writing for them, but I also write very short pieces designed for emails or giveaways. I didn't think I'd like this kind of work, but I do! It brings me back to the importance of knowing how to write short. I've talked about this before, but here's the book I'm referencing:
And thank you, Roy Peter Clark, for soothing my guilt about writing specifically for the Tweet. In “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times,” this amazing writer praises Twitter’s 140-character limit as a tool for “intelligent cutting.”
So, as a way to get better at my new craft, I'm re-reading his book and actually doing the activities at the end of each chapter. The first: Practice writing plain sentences that contain a grace note, one interesting word that stands out. ___________________________________________
As did Proteus, I move forward into change. I figure, I …

DigiLit Sunday: Relationships

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..

On Sunday, I interviewed a woman named Julie Lindsay. She lives in Australia and started a company called Flat Connections. Her message to me was that Web 2.0 tools have changed the face of education. It brought the walls down so that we could all reach each other.

On  Monday, I read a book by Pernille Ripp, a teacher living in Wisconsin. In Reimagining Literacy through Global Connections, Ripp's message to me was to keep it simple when going global, the students just need to know they can connect and share who they are.

On Tuesday, I voxed Julieanne Harmatz. "Let's do this!" I said. "I've got a fourth grade, you've got a fifth. Mine is in Maine, yours is in California. Let's read together and share thoughts." She agreed.

On Wednesday, Julieanne emailed suggestions for three books she had multiple copies of. I book talked them to my students that afternoon.

On Thursday, I worked online with…