There are a few fictional accounts of Roller Derby. Chances are if you’ve ever skated or been to a derby bout, you’ve heard of the most famous: Shauna Cross’s Whip It. There are sometimes derby bouts in horror films, like the in-process film Hellskate. However, when it comes to young girls and teenagers there isn’t much to go on. As evidenced by a quick search on Amazon, the majority of books on roller derby focus on the more adult and historical aspects of the sport. Enter the series Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles. Written by Meghan Dougherty and illustrated by Alece Birnbach, the series is designed for ages 9 and up. Dougherty skated with the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, so she knows what’s up.
Dorothy, also known as The Undead Redhead (so of course I’m going to love it) is the newest member of the misfit group of roller derby girls, the Slugs ‘n’ Hisses. After her mom takes off to chase stardom in Nashville, Dorothy finds out that her Grandma Sally is an ex-roller derby superstar. After being introduced to new middle school friends Gigi and Jade, and after a little smack talk, Dorothy finds herself not just skating derby but dealing with the dangers beyond her imagination.
Dorthy’s Derby Chronicles has just released book #2: Woe of Jane Doe.
Here’s the official synopsis from Sourcebooks:
Ever since Dorothy joined the Slugs & Hisses Derby team, her life has been one adventure after another. Dorothy’s onetime enemy Alex is now a friend, while her friend Jade keeps missing practices. Then the skating rink shuts down, and Dorothy’s life becomes as jumbled as a derby jam. And that’s not to mention the bizarre things happening to anyone who enters the rink (maybe it’s haunted?)…
Can Dorothy restore order to the new life she’s finally settling into, or will her world become a crazy mess she can’t skate away from?
Okay. Color me intrigued.
Here’s an excerpt from Woe of Jane Doe so you get a feel for i:
“You okay, Dorth?” Max asked, squeezing Dorothy’s hand.
Dorothy stared into Max’s chocolate-brown eyes. Words weren’t coming. From the tip-top of her curly red hair down to her hand-me-down roller skates, Dorothy was buzzing with delight. She wasn’t even twelve yet, and she had just been kissed! She had thought the night couldn’t get any better after coaching her team, the Slugs ’n’ Hisses, to a win at the Halloween championship bout. But here she was, hand in hand with the boy of her dreams.
Floating on a cloud of bliss, Dorothy was barely aware of the roller rink under her feet or her nearby team chanting, “I’m a roller derby girl. Derby, derby, roller, yeah!”
And there was another sound too, like a squeal—but not a happy squeal. More like a metallic screech, actually. And it was growing louder. Dorothy’s gaze shot upward and her bliss vanished, replaced instead with heart-pounding terror.
Suddenly, everything and everyone in the dimly lit, outdated Galactic Skate was moving in slow motion. The dusty ceiling fans ticked as slowly as the second hand on a clock. The people in the stands lumbered toward the door like molasses on the faded, star-patterned carpet.
“Get off the floor!” Dorothy screamed. “Now!”
Her team stopped chanting and turned to look at her with puzzled faces.
“Frappit,” Dorothy said, dropping Max’s hand. She rocketed toward her team, her arms waving frantically above her head. “Move it!” A second later, time was in hyperdrive.
“You heard your coach!” Grandma Sally yelled. Her tight, fishnet stockings made Grandma’s thighs look like a pair of misshapen waffles. Unaware that her sexy nun costume was riding up dangerously high, she hooked Jade by the arm and pulled her toward the bleachers.
“Ouch, Grandma! Easy,” Jade complained, hopping on one foot. “My ankle, remember?”
The next few seconds were a blur of confusion with the clack and swoosh of skate wheels, the cries of “Run!” from the few remaining fans standing in the bleachers, and above it all, a metallic banshee shriek growing louder each second.
In the chaos, Dorothy realized she had lost track of Sam. Cold fingers of panic wrapped around Dorothy’s throat and squeezed. Her nine-year-old sister had been there just a minute ago, chanting and celebrating with her team. Where was she now? In the frenzy, Dorothy slowed way down, carefully scanning the people running past the rundown refreshment area and blackened popcorn machine and the restrooms with the groovy guy-and-gal signage. No Sam.
Then it happened. With a bang like a gun going off, the chain that held the giant disco ball to the ceiling snapped. Dorothy turned and watched helplessly as the ball fell. Time slowed again. It was like a horror movie version of the Times Square countdown on New Year’s Eve—a glittering ball of death was plummeting toward the floor, and there wasn’t a single thing Dorothy or anyone could do to stop it.
“Sam!” she cried desperately, but all she heard in return were the screams of her terrified teammates and shattering glass.
The best part is that Sourcebooks is offering a chance to win the books. Enter here:
For more information on Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles: