Derby Girl

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Overview

Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas.

Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.

Bliss' escape? Take up Roller Derby.

When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious ...

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Derby Girl

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Overview

Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas.

Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.

Bliss' escape? Take up Roller Derby.

When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most bad-assed derby chick has to learn.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The novel shines in describing the dashing world of roller derby, where the players are hot and have nasty names like Dinah Might, Eva Destruction and Princess Slaya. [Shauna Cross shows] naked enthusiasm for the edgy, underground sport.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“This first-time author combines roller-skating and coming-of-age with a sardonic heroine to create an enjoyable, quick read. Whether Bliss is battling menacing derby mavens or discovering the perils of lying to parents, she is quirky and likeable despite her prickly exterior. . . . Fans of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books will be pleased with this American counterpart.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

 

“Sharp humor dominates this entertaining debut from Cross, who weaves her own experience with roller derby into the fun and traumas of a small-town girl experiencing major rebellion. . . . plenty of laughs and adolescent insights . . . exuberant and insightful.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Roller derby . . . is conveyed with sexy, enthusiastic energy that injects the whole novel with a warm and authentic vibe.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Publishers Weekly

Debut novelist Cross, a screenwriter and former roller derby girl, retreads well-worn YA themes as a path to a roller-derby plot line. A main character feeling too cool for school and her plebeian town? Check. Two parents who just don't understand? Check. A budding romance that leaves a best friend left in the dust? Check. Here, the teen angst is embodied in 16-year-old Bliss Cavendar, a blue-haired, Chuck Taylor-wearing indie rebel living in a tiny Texas town of country music-loving beauty-pageant fans. Yearning to escape the suffocating boredom, Bliss and her best friend, Pash Amini, crash a roller derby event in nearby Austin. The girls are entranced by the glammed-up skaters in heavy makeup and fishnet stockings who shove and elbow their way around a track. Bliss soon lies about her age, becomes a derby girl, meets a cute boy and learns several unsurprising life lessons. Despite being formulaic, the novel shines in describing the dashing world of roller derby, where the players are hot and have nasty names like Dinah Might, Eva Destruction and Princess Slaya. When Bliss describes watching "girls dive on the track, leap over one another, pile on the infield for brawls, fly over the rails into the crowd (more than once!)... and yet, you can tell they're having the time of their lives," her naked enthusiasm for the edgy, underground sport injects some energy into an otherwise labored tale. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Angelica Delgado
Blue-haired Bliss Cavendar is a rebel stuck in tiny Bodeen, Texas. Her high school life and dismal job at the local barbeque pit, the Oink Joint, whose showcase is the large porcine statue outside the front door, threaten to suck the soul from her body. Her mother has visions of Bliss sheathed in a billowy pageant dress accepting a Miss Bluebonnet crown, an aspiration over which Bliss and her mother clash. The only shining light is her sister-in-sarcasm and best pal, Pash. That is until Bliss ventures into the cosmopolitan town of Austin and sees that the local roller derby team will hold auditions for a coveted spot on the Hurl Scouts. Bliss digs out her roller skates from under her bed, lies about her age, dons the moniker Babe Ruthless, and rolls into adventure. Along the way, she meets a sexy boy musician, upsets her friendship with Pash, and learns something about her mother and herself in the process. This first-time author combines roller-skating and coming-of-age with a sardonic heroine to create an enjoyable, quick read. Whether Bliss is battling menacing derby mavens or discovering the perils of lying to parents, she is quirky and likeable despite her prickly exterior. A minor quibble is Cross's sometimes travel-guidebook approach to Austin. Bliss's cutting sarcastic remarks and self-absorption might irritate some, but others will enjoy the conversational tone and short chapters. Cross handles the lone sex scene tastefully. Fans of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books will be pleased with this American counterpart.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
Bliss Cavendar, 16, is a misfit. Her blue hair sticks out among all of the All-American look-alikes at her Bodeen, TX, high school. She doesn't fit in with her family, either. Her mother insists that she enter the Miss Bluebonnet beauty pageant but Bliss would rather be listening to punk rock. In desperation, she sneaks out at night to nearby Austin, joins a roller-derby league, and finds an exciting, older boyfriend. She lies to derby officials about her age, and to her parents about where she is for every practice and competition. In the end, her antics are exposed but her rebellion turns out to be just what was needed to make her mother accept her. This novel fails to explain what roller derby is, besides a bunch of girls on skates pushing into each other. Bliss is unlikable and at times obnoxious, especially during her encounters with her best friend. The choppy narration portrays teenagers as having a cavalier attitude about lying, stealing, drinking, and sex, and the author tries to win readers over with clever asides and the occasional curse word. It doesn't work.
—Julianna M. HeltCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805080230
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Shauna Cross's Derby Girl was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Quick Pick for Young Adults, a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. It is now a major motion picture, Whip It, directed by Drew Barrymore. Cross is a screenwriter and a member of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls roller derby league. She skates under the name “Maggie Mayhem.” She grew up in Austin, Texas, and now lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

All I have to do is get around the track five times. I can do this.

I line up, the whistle blows, and I immediately stumble as I take off. I keep skating, fighting my wobbles, and get around the track one time with relative ease (yes!). But then something clicks on the second lap. I lean low into the track, push as hard as I can and—bingo!—I go flying out of the turn at speeds the other girls haven't even touched. For a second, it feels like I might not be able to control the speed, but I bend my knees lower, and manage to go even faster. From there on, the track is mine, I attack it with all I have . . .

At practice, the humiliation factor decreases as my skating improves. Even though I'm covered in bruises aka "derby kisses" I feel surprisingly proud of what I'm learning to do (it's so weird; I'm kind of like a jock). I even sneak out late at night to covertly practice my T-stops and power slides in the driveway, determined to catch up to the other girls.

I love the way the wind whips through my hair as I fly through the turns, sitting low, leaning into the track for maximum speed. My life feels like it has been so slow for so long, it's fun to finally be going fast.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2010

    A Really Fun Read!

    I bought this book after seeing the movie & I absolutely loved it! Very close to the plot of the film but loaded with more humor & adventure narrarated tp you by the storys quirky & relatable Heroine.Once i started reading i could not put it down!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A fun story.

    The book was fun and cute. I cannot imagine my parents ever being okay with roller derby, or myself being the mother of teenagers. It sounds so dangerous. The whole thing with the boyfriend was good, not everything can end happy. Real life is not constant happiness, every book needs a bit of reality. Her parents were normal and I think in a teenagers mind the worse kind. I could see both sides, the mother wanting for her daughter what had made her happy. And the daughter wanting what she thinks will make her happy, being nothing like her mother. Her father was a bit more understanding, but he had to live with his wife(and so side with her.)

    The names used were interesting. I haven't seen the movie yet, Whip-it, so maybe I will check that out next. It was a fun quick read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Don't Mess With a Girl on Skates"

    As a person who saw the movie "Whip It" before reading the book it's based on, I didn't really know what to expect. Usually the book is better that the movie, but I have to say that I love them both and the go hand in hand. It's a fun, down and dirty book with great characters, led by fearless Bliss Cavander (Babe Ruthless!) and expanding to best friend Pash Amini, employer Birdman, and Oliver (note: DO NOT DATE A BOY IN A BAND) to the derby girls like bittersweet Malice in Wonderland and unbeatable Dinah Might (of the enemy team the Holy Rollers). The roller derby chapters are probably my favorite, because they're filled with action, awesomeness, and rock n' roll/indie style writing. I don't know how else to describe it, so you'll just have to read it and see it in all it's glory for yourself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    While wandering through the young adult section of my local library, I came across DERBY GIRL. I had seen the book in the bookstore on other occasions but never bought it. I picked it up at the library and took it home with me. Not knowing what to expect, I started reading, and was instantly enthralled by the life of Bliss Cavender. <BR/><BR/>Fans of A&E's Rollergirls will especially enjoy this book. <BR/><BR/>Bliss is too big for Bodeen, Texas. Bliss is a sixteen-year-old high school student that can't wait to get out of her small town. Her mom is obsessed with beauty pageants, and expects Bliss to follow in her footsteps. However, Bliss is better known for receiving the "certificate of participation" rather than the tiara. She is more comfortable in her 80's thrift store T-shirts rather than teased hair and evening gowns. <BR/><BR/>On a shopping trip to the big city of Austin, Bliss snags a flyer advertising Roller Derby. In her younger days, Bliss was pretty good on four wheels, and she hatches a plot with her friend, Pash, to sneak back to Austin (an hour from Bodeen) for try-outs. After a shaky start on skates, Bliss soon remembers the feel of the wheels under her feet and is totally addicted. <BR/><BR/>Sneaking out twice a week under the guise of an SAT-prep course, Bliss soon becomes Babe Ruthless and a fan favorite for the Austin Roller Derby scene. <BR/><BR/>Covering the topics of fitting in, parental disagreements, first love, and finding out who you are meant to be, DERBY GIRL does not disappoint. The story moves quickly without any needless sidelines to interrupt the plot. Ms. Cross's style is hip and spunky. She uses many slang phrases as well as abbreviations to keep in touch with the teen audience. <BR/><BR/>Bliss is a lot of fun and independent. It's refreshing to read a story where the lead character is comfortable with who she is meant to be and stays true to herself the entire way through the story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Josh

    Dies with out scarlet

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Timmy

    Wow there is a lot of dieing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Bree

    Hello?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

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