Astrid has been best friends with Nicole since first grade, but that starts to change when the girls watch a roller derby match together. Astrid instantly wants to become a roller girl, but Nicole finds the experience distasteful. Astrid signs up for a summer roller camp, and is surprised and hurt with Nicole opts to go to dance camp with bossy Rachel instead. Things don't immediately get better once roller camp starts. Roller skating on the team is much more difficult than Astrid had anticipated, and she comes home each day bruised and exhausted. Does Astrid have what it takes to become an awesome roller derby star like her idol Rainbow Bite?
This graphic novel was a Newbery Honor winner this year. It is also the Mother/Daughter book club book for this month. I think is is a pretty good choice for both. It deals with issues that most kids face as they transition into puberty; changing relationships with friends, changing relationships with parents, and a quest to establish one's own identity. The plot element of the roller derby, something most children will have never heard of, adds a fresh and interesting vehicle to explore these issues. It will be interesting to discuss this with the mothers and daughters this week. (239 p.)