Monday, June 9, 2014

BEA Picturebook Reviews: Roller Derby Rivals - PLUS a little intro to Roller Derby today!!

Three of the four picture books I got at BEA 2014. 

So, I decided to try and review my BEA books in some kind of order that actually made a little sense... both to me and hopefully to all of you! The next few blog posts will all be about the picture books that I received at BEA, then we'll move on to some of the middle grade, etc. etc.  Enjoy!

Roller Derby Rivals 
by Sue Macy
Illustrated by Matt Collins 

A legendary high-speed, hard-hitting rivalry on the Roller Derby track is about to be witnessed by a packed arena at the 69th Regiment Armory and for the first time, thousands of television viewers. Here is the story of two remarkable athletes at the dawn of televised sports. (Description from

I have to say that I was BEYOND excited when my friend Kim let me know that there was going to be a ROLLER DERBY book at BEA this year!! I had no idea it was a nonfiction picture book that detailed one of the first, most epic rivalries in the game, but I am soooo happy to now own this book!

This is the true story of two women, Gerry and Toughie who were great friends off the track, but were "bitter rivals" when playing the game.  In the time just after women returned to their homes following the war, no longer need to be Rosie Riveter, there were some who still wanted a tough outlet rather than to just settle back into raising families.  These women embraced roller derby, and when it became a televised sport, the nation embraced them wholeheartedly.  

Macy writes a simple story that highlights the fun, excitement, and rivalry of the sport. One I happen to have begun playing about three months ago.  It's amazing to see the history of the sport captured in such a fun way.  I really enjoyed Collins' illustrations, too.  They show off lots of important little details well. 

Notice that they don't have safety equipment
like players do now! Only padded leggings... 
Oooh, falling down the track! Ouch. 

As someone who plays the sport now, I only have the utmost respect and admiration for those women who played before the era of safety equipment.  I can only imagine the injuries! 

If you want a quick read that will introduce you to the excitement of a sport that has continued from the Depression Era, running mostly under the average American's radar, check this book out!  

And.... for more information about playing the sport today, you can actually check out the blog series I'm writing for my team the Pair O' Dice City Rollers called, "From Freshmeat to Team Mate." 

Check it out at

Full disclosure: Book received from publisher at BEA 2014.

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