This past weekend, I had the honor of helping represent The Harry Potter Alliance at ALA Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. I was thrilled about the opportunity for a number of reasons. The biggest was that quite simply I love the volunteer work I do for the HPA, so getting the chance to talk about it for four days straight is basically my idea of heaven. I’m also debating whether I want to get a Master’s in Library Science as well, so spending a weekend talking to librarians sounded wonderful. Side bonus – I picked up some ARCs, met a bunch of authors and was able to get a few signed books as a result! (I’m already looking at these to build our wish list for next year’s Accio Books campaign – don’t even know yet what charity we’re working with but gathering the materials and knowledge to build them a library!)
That said, I think my favorite find so far is Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. (Yes, that’s right, I’m in my 30s, but my favorite find was graphic novel for kids.) Geared towards middle grades, Roller Girl is a relatable story about a young girl in that awkward time between elementary school and junior high when people change and friendships grow apart. After watching a roller derby bout for the first time, Astrid decides to take up skating and signs up for a roller derby summer camp, assuming that her best friend will join as well. Instead, her friend joins a dance camp with another friend; she has no interest in joining roller derby at all. Now, the heroine must learn this tough new sport while discovering who she is on her own. (Bonus – it is an accurate depiction of roller derby!)
If you’re book shopping for a kid between 4th and 8th grade (or, you know, happen to be a 30-something who loves roller derby), I highly recommend this book. A+ for both the writing and artwork.