Written and Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.
Primary Source Pairing:
Author and illustrator Victoria Jamieson is a roller girl herself. For this primary source pairing, invite students to take a look at Jamieson’s picture as Winnie the Pow on the Rose City Rollers. How does Jamieson’s experience as a roller derby player enhance the story and artwork about Astrid and her derby adventures? Additionally, invite students to compare the original artwork for the title page with the published artwork in the book. Check out Victoria Jamieson’s website for more artwork from the book.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What is the physical setting?
- What, if any, words do you see?
- What other details can you see?
- What similarities and differences do you observe when comparing the original artwork to the published artwork of the title page?