Review: Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

Derby GirlTitle: Derby Girl

Author: Shauna Cross

Pages: 244 Pages

Publisher: Henry Holt

The Blurb

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.

The Review

Whenever I am asked what is my favourite book I never hesitate to give Derby Girl by Shauna Cross as my answer. I read this book several years ago and usually when I read a book I will pass it on to other people and let them keep the copy. Not Derby Girl though; that was put in the permanent collection.

So when a group of students with whom I work asked me to start a book club I knew exactly what book I wanted to read with them. Derby Girl is not just a book about sports (although I do long for the day that I grow a pair and join the Roller Derby) and it is not just about falling in love (romantic love or in this case a love of something that helps you find yourself). It is a book about just letting yourself be you; that you can bang to the beat of your own drummer, rest of the world be damned. There is no stronger message that I wanted to pass on to my students.

However, on reflection and after a reread of what is still my favourite book of all time ever I decided that I probably shouldn’t read it with my students. Not yet, anyway. See, whilst I love the book I really cannot recommend a book that has near on 60 cuss words and 13 references to sex to a group of 11 year olds. As much as I bang to the beat of my own drummer I am not foolish enough to face the wrath of angry parents.

Therefore, if you are old enough to choose the books you read without parental influence then go and read this book. It is wonderful. Simply wonderful.

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross is available now.

For more information regarding Shauna Cross (@ShaunaCross) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Henry Holt (@HenryHolt) please visit

5 Stars

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