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  • Writer's picturemisskleber

Derby Girls – Shauna Cross (2007)

Updated: Jan 12, 2018

Roller derby, cool chicks brawling in fishnets, and a mother-daughter relationship that feels full of friction, fighting, angst, and truth.

Bliss Cavendar is a vinyl kid stuck in a tiara town. Her family has produced pageant queens from way back, and judging from her little sister they are still in the business, too bad Bliss just doesn’t fit the mold.

Stumbling into the world of Roller derby, a contact sport where bruises are badges, Bliss has found a place where standing out fits right in.

I took one look at her ’50s pencil skirt and homemade skull earrings while she silently graded my tuxedo-striped Dickies and ’70s “Hopscotch for Jesus” T-shirt. It was best friend love at first sight.

Bliss and her dynamo of a best friend Pash. Bliss and Pash, a stunningly Arab girl in a stunningly white Texas town, find misfit solace in each other.

This book reminded me that life-as-a-teenage is akin to life-in-a-fishbowl. Interactions with parents are often seen with exasperation and an appropriate amount of angst, however there are truly tender moments too. Moments when Bliss, though incredibly angry with her mother is proud of her and begins to see her as a person, not just a mom.

Fun, fast paced, witty, and heartwarming, this girl-gone-wild coming of age novel seeks out the wild side, and shows that the fun does not always mean off-the-rails.

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Henry Holt and Co., September 4, 2007

240 pages

ISBN: 9780805080230

Suggested Reading Level: Grades 9+

Cross, S. (2007) Derby Girls. New York: Henry Holt.

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