100 books like Roller Girl

By Victoria Jamieson,

Here are 100 books that Roller Girl fans have personally recommended if you like Roller Girl. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Crossover

Lorna Schultz Nicholson Author Of When You Least Expect It

From my list on determination and perseverance.

Who am I?

As a child I loved to read and write but I also loved sports. I played every sport I could, and races and games fueled me. My mother called me the “joiner.” Teams create bonds and friendships and I’m still in touch with former teammates. This gives me inspiration to write human interactions. Determination and perseverance are part of being an athlete and I write about strong characters who want to succeed but often meet obstacles along the way. I honestly believe that my sports background has helped me survive publishing, because both are full of highs and lows. Please, enjoy my recommended list because they’re books with heart.

Lorna's book list on determination and perseverance

Lorna Schultz Nicholson Why did Lorna love this book?

Written in poetic verse, this novel is captivating, clever, and emotional. I love it when a book is written with so much emotion that I have to wipe away the tears. Yes, I cried. Alexander combined sport with heart, and this book has depth, and covers so much more than basketball. The family scenes are realistic and powerful.

By Kwame Alexander,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Crossover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A million copies sold

'With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .
The court is SIZZLING.
My sweat is DRIZZLING.
Stop all that quivering.
Cuz tonight I'm delivering'

12-year-old Josh and his twin Jordan have basketball in their blood. They're kings of the court, star players for their school team. Their father used to be a champion player and they each want nothing more than to follow in his footsteps.
Both on and off the court, there is conflict and hardship which will test Josh's bond with his brother. In this heartfelt novel in verse, the boys…


Book cover of Neymar: From the Playground to the Pitch

Madelaine Healey

From my list on sport for 8-12 year olds.

Who am I?

I am an expat Australian freelance writer living in Silicon Valley, and also the mother of two boys aged ten and seven. My boys are avid readers and it is an accepted rule that no one in our family speaks at breakfast. I have a bad habit of reading books over their shoulders, but my boys are still willing helpers on some current writing projects on kids’ fiction and circumnavigating the horribly sad “decline at nine”. I also have a PhD in South Asian Studies and have worked in commercial research and marketing.

Madelaine's book list on sport for 8-12 year olds

Madelaine Healey Why did Madelaine love this book?

This isn’t one you’ll enjoy reading over your kid’s shoulder unless you truly are a diehard soccer fan. Matt and Tom Oldfield’s series of soccer-star bios are comfort food for tween fans - a bland, seemingly never-ending diet of rags to riches stories to inspire every kid with dreams of the Premier League. The prose is undemanding: “With his mohawk dyed red this time, Neymar Jr walked onto the stage. He couldn’t believe what was happening. His goal had beaten brilliant strikes by Wayne Rooney and Lionel Messi”. The story unfolds with a happy triumphalism: Neymar is spotted as a deft-footed child prodigy, he is scouted to the heights of Barcelona, he overcomes injuries, he puts the team first, he is a mega-star who does noble things for Brazil. If you’re not a soccer person, the Oldfields’ books on Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and Paul Pogba don’t read very differently.…

By Tom Oldfield, Matt Oldfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Neymar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The No.1 football series - over 1 million copies sold!

'As Neymar Jr made the long walk to the penalty spot, he knew this was his chance, the one that he had dreamed of since the age of three. If he scored, Brazil would be Olympic Champions for the first time ever.'

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is the boy who carries the hopes of Brazil on his shoulders. Although he now faces a new challenge at Paris Saint-Germain, it was his years playing for Barcelona, in a fearsome attacking trident alongside Messi and Suarez, that made him a legend…


Book cover of Jackie & Me

Madelaine Healey

From my list on sport for 8-12 year olds.

Who am I?

I am an expat Australian freelance writer living in Silicon Valley, and also the mother of two boys aged ten and seven. My boys are avid readers and it is an accepted rule that no one in our family speaks at breakfast. I have a bad habit of reading books over their shoulders, but my boys are still willing helpers on some current writing projects on kids’ fiction and circumnavigating the horribly sad “decline at nine”. I also have a PhD in South Asian Studies and have worked in commercial research and marketing.

Madelaine's book list on sport for 8-12 year olds

Madelaine Healey Why did Madelaine love this book?

Kids who love the minutiae of sport - collecting the cards, following the stats, learning the teams and their star players - are often drawn to history as well. Dan Gutman gets this, and the Baseball Card Adventures is a brilliant series for giving young readers a way into a nuanced US history. In Jackie and Me, the hero, Stosh, is thrown out of Little League for attacking a pitcher who mocked his Polish heritage - “You know you can’t hit me, Stoshack. Because you’re a big, slow, ugly, dumb Polack!” Back at school, Stosh elects to write a book report on Jackie Robinson, and uses his magical baseball card to travel back in time. Stosh experiences Robinson’s first Major League game and the breaking of the color bar in baseball, finding a new perspective on difference and discrimination. Gutman writes colorful dialogue that kids really respond to, and…

By Dan Gutman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jackie & Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

With more than 2 million books sold, the Baseball Card Adventures bring the greatest players in history to life! 

Like every other kid in his class, Joe Stoshack has to write a report on an African American who's made an important contribution to society. Unlike every other kid in his class, Joe has a special talent: with the help of old baseball cards, he can travel through time. So, for his report, Joe decides to go back to meet one of the greatest baseball players ever, Jackie Robinson, to find out what it was like to be the man who…


Book cover of Ghost

Jennie Liu Author Of Enly and the Buskin' Blues

From my list on boys for middle graders whose reading is falling off.

Who am I?

My boys greedily consumed books until middle school when screens began to pull them away. I still brought home piles of books, especially stories that stirred empathy, hoping they would pick them up (especially during enforced no-screen times). My then-5th grader complained that I brought home too many “sad books about kids having a really hard time,” and that’s when I realized I was choosing titles I liked and wanted them to read. The novels I had written thus far were heavy stories for teens, but after this little episode with my boy, I decided to pay attention to what they really wanted to read. And to write one they might like.  

Jennie's book list on boys for middle graders whose reading is falling off

Jennie Liu Why did Jennie love this book?

Although Ghost is heavy on hardship (angry kid, incarcerated father), and a struggle story for sure, it’s such a tight, fast-paced one with a voice that you can’t help but fall right into the narrative.

Add to that sports (track), bad choices (stealing shoes), and all the intense emotions of a seventh-grader, any kid will have a hard time putting it down. 

By Jason Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Running. That's all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons -until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medallist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

READ THE RUN SERIES:
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for…


Book cover of Be Prepared

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Who am I?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

This humorous and heartfelt graphic memoir is about Vera going to a Russian summer camp—an opportunity to fit in with other kids, especially since the American girls from school go to summer camp. I love this story because wanting to fit in such a universal experience, yet Vera’s experience is unique in many ways. Plus, I love a good summer camp story. After begging her mom to let her go, Vera ends up hating camp, but she sticks it out, makes real friends, and learns so much about herself. 

By Vera Brosgol,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Be Prepared as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

All Vera wants to do is fit in - but that's not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera's single mother can't afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range - Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the 'cool girl' drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out…


Book cover of Stepping Stones

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Who am I?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

This graphic novel is based on Lucy’s real life. It’s about a girl who begrudgingly moves from her home in the city to the country to live with her mom’s new boyfriend and share a bedroom with his daughters. I love this one because when you’re a kid, so many things are out of your control, and grown-ups are the ones making decisions for you. Sometimes, kids are forced to learn a whole new way of life. Stepping Stones is a great depiction of that experience—an experience I can relate to as someone whose mom remarried and then had to move towns and schools. I love how the main character, Jen, is terrible at math but has to handle money at the farmer’s market. She spends the summer persevering through her math troubles, her embarrassment related to it, and her new family and farm work expectations. 

By Lucy Knisley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Stepping Stones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This contemporary middle-grade graphic novel about family and belonging from New York Times bestselling author Lucy Knisley is a perfect read for fans of Awkward and Be Prepared.

Jen is used to not getting what she wants. So suddenly moving the country and getting new stepsisters shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Jen did not want to leave the city. She did not want to move to a farm with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, Walter. She did not want to leave her friends and her dad.

Most of all, Jen did not want to get new…


Book cover of Twins

Steph Mided Author Of Club Kick Out! Into the Ring

From my list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers.

Who am I?

I’ve been drawing and writing ever since I could hold a pencil, and a big inspiration for me to start my lifelong creative journey were graphic novels. So even as an adult, I love to read work from a wide range of genres and age ranges to see what my fellow authors and artists are up to. Especially making my own middle grade graphic novel series, I look up to so many of the authors and artists on this list and chances are you and your kids will too if you pick one of these up!

Steph's book list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers

Steph Mided Why did Steph love this book?

To me, Twins is an instant middle grade classic. It explores the relationship between two twin girls who are starting to be interested in different things after having spent years being on the same exact page.

I love that this book shows how people can approach creativity and life in different ways, most notably through a school campaign the two twins find themselves running in against each other. I think it’s a good reminder that we’re always changing and evolving, and while it can be scary, it’s ultimately worth embracing those changes. 

By Varian Johnson, Shannon Wright (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Twins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A heartfelt and delightful middle-grade graphic novel,
from the award-winning author Varian Johnson and rising cartoonist
Shannon Wright.
Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best
friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods and are partners
on all their school projects.

But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes
Fran - a girl who wants to join the chorus, run
for class president and dress in fashionable outfits that set her
apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two
classes with her sister!

Maureen and Francine are growing apart and…


Book cover of Swim Team

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Who am I?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

My favorite thing about this graphic novel is easily the Black history that is woven into this fictional story. As someone who’s always struggled with anxiety, I love how the main character’s anxiety is depicted in the story. Though she doesn’t know how to swim, and she’s scared of the water, Bree leaves her comfort zone. This book is a must-read for kids. It feels important.

By Johnnie Christmas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swim Team as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"Combines wonderful characters and history to create a story that will make you want to dive right in!" JERRY CRAFT, author of the Newbery Medal-winning New Kid

A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!

Bree can't wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees-until she's stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she's forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta,…


Book cover of Stargazing

Marla Lesage Author Of AWOL

From my list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics.

Who am I?

I’ve always enjoyed reading true stories and stories that feel like they could be true. I enjoy learning about other people’s lives and experiences. If a character’s life experiences have been very different than my own, it is eye-opening and informative. If we’ve had similar experiences it helps me feel less alone. When writing, I usually draw inspiration from my own life experiences. With AWOL, I wanted to share military family culture and help readers affected by PTSD feel less alone. 

Marla's book list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics

Marla Lesage Why did Marla love this book?

I love Stargazing! On its surface, Stargazing is about friendship and family but it has many layers, making it the perfect book to read again and again. The story of Christine and Moon touches on the diverse experiences of growing up Asian in America, jealousy & conflict, social expectations & feeling comfortable in your own skin, and a little bit of magic. Except the magic turns out to be symptoms of a serious medical condition. With writing as beautiful as the art, this is a story not to be missed! 

By Jen Wang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stargazing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Moon is everything Christine isn't. She's confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn't where she really belongs.

Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however,…


Book cover of The Boys in the Back Row

Chad Lucas Author Of Thanks a Lot, Universe

From my list on middle grade books to counter toxic masculinity.

Who am I?

When I was in school, I often struggled to figure out where I “fit”. Yeah, I know that’s a common struggle among angsty teens. But as a biracial, bisexual kid who loved basketball and books, I didn’t feel totally at home in any of the stereotypical Breakfast Club-style categories that showed up even in many of the books I read: jock, nerd, prep, etc. Now, as a dad, coach, and writer, I know those boxes aren’t real. I’m passionate about giving kids stories that challenge old ideas about what boys are “supposed” to be and help them explore the full range of who they can be.

Chad's book list on middle grade books to counter toxic masculinity

Chad Lucas Why did Chad love this book?

In this frequently hilarious novel about a pair of comic-loving band kids planning a big adventure, Mike Jung delivers a beautiful portrait of middle-grade male friendship. The caring, affectionate relationship between best buds Matt and Eric stands out as they defy stereotypes and preconceptions about how boys are “supposed” to act. And did I mention it’s laugh-out-loud funny?

By Mike Jung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boys in the Back Row as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Best friends Matt and Eric are hatching a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a Giant Amusement Park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idol-a famous comic creator. Without cell phones. Or transportation. Or permission. Of course, their final adventure together is more than just that-really, it's a way for the boys to celebrate their friendship, and their honest love and support for one another. That's exactly what we love so much about The Boys in the Back Row: it's an unabashed ode…


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