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Roller Derby Rivals

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A legendary high-speed, hard-hitting rivalry on the Roller Derby track is about to be witnessed by a packed arena at the 69th Regiment Armory and for the first time, thousands of television viewers. Here is the story of two remarkable athletes at the dawn of televised sports.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 31st 2014 by Holiday House (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
In my next life I will come back as a roller derby queen. Since the majority of my adult life has come and gone in complete and utter ignorance of this sport, I figure that means it’s too late for me now. But the more I learn about the sport the more I like it. Women on roller skates knocking the bejeesus out of each other in a circular fashion? Yes, please! Not that the sport has ever been particularly well documented in children’s literature. Generally speaking, roller derby tends to show up i ...more
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sue Macy always seemed to me to be one of the world's foremost authorities on Women and Sport. Her career has been a powerful march of great books on the topic, beginning with A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Winning Ways: A Photohistory of Women in Sports, and Play Like a Girl: A Celebration of Women in Sports.

Once again teamed up with illustrator Matt Collins, she delivers a true gem. Set in 1948 Roller Derby Rivalsimagines the Roller Derby's arrival in New York City and
This sent me down a rabbit hole of watching roller derby videos from the 1950s! So intense! I liked the illustrations and the general narrative, but there was definitely something missing. I feel like maybe 1/10th more text would have been more helpful. I got the facts, but I didn't quite connect with the story as much as I wanted to (and I was really trying). It wasn't anything monstrous, but I think in trying to make it really clear they made the text overly minimal.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Roller Derby Rivals by Sue Macy follows the story of to women who are "roller derby rivals". This book has realistic art and a fast paced action filled story line. I liked this book because I think roller derby is a super tough sport and fascinating.
Sydney Martindale
Nov 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was boring and was a difficult story to follow. The "plot twist" at the end was not set up enough and just left me feeling confused. Also the "realistic" art style was still not realistic enough, and made the girls look creepy and scary.
Daniel Lawson
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize this was a kids book, but for one of those educational brief history books it's really good.
1) Twin Text - Rise of the Undead Redhead by Meghan Dougherty, 2014.
2) Rationale - Roller Derby Rivals tells the story of Midge "Toughie" Brasuhn and Gerry Murray, two women's roller derby troupe members who were famous in the 1940's and '50's. Murray's team was the New York squad; while Toughie's represented Brooklyn. The squads traveled the country playing each other. In December 1948 for seventeen days, the two women's squads played each other at New York's 69th Regiment Armory. On Dece
Teresa Bateman
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sue Macy writes great nonfiction sports books, especially those that tell lesser-known stories about women in athletics. I thought she outdid herself in "Basketball Babes" but she's back with another winner here. In 1948 "Toughie" Brasuhn and Gerry Murray were on competing teams in the Roller Derby. Staged as villain and hero (shades of WWE) they fought it out before adoring fans. Macy introduces readers to the sport, and to the rivalry between these two unusual athletes. The author gives a blow ...more
Gabrielle Blockton
Date: December 1st, 2014

Author: Sue Macy; Illustrated by Matt Collins

Title: Roller Derby Rivals

Plot: Sue Macy's Picture-book focuses on two roller derby legends and New York rivals Gerry Murray and Toughie Brasuhn during their roller derby reign.

Setting: New York City

Characters: Gerry Murray; Toughie Brasuhn; Leo Seltzer

Point-of-View: Third-Person

Theme: Competition; Rivalry;

Style: Informational Non-Fiction Biography; Women's Fiction;
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book depicts the true story of two female roller derby stars of the 1940s and one particular match between the two. The book shows the two women as the hero and villain, and the book is uniquely told more from the perspective of the villain derby girl, making her more sympathetic (and perhaps the hero a little less likable). The story is limited, but the novelty of the topic could be engaging for children. The illustrations are nice, but nothing extraordinary. It was nice including notes on ...more
Aleisha Douthitt
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is about roller derby girls. It talks about how the sport is different and not for everyone and how the underdog sometimes wins. The two main characters are on enemy teams and they often are put against each other. One is a crowd favorite, while the other is not. The two girls pretend to hate each other, but secretly they admire one another for their strength and skills. The illustrations are painted and are really life like! The colors are warm and bold and add detail that the words d ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simple overview of the rivalry between Gerry Murrary and Midge "Toughie" Brasuhn. Complete with a timeline of roller derby history in the back of the book, young fans of the sport can explore how derby has changed. The book also addresses that Toughie's reputation as the "bad guy/mean girl" is a marketing ploy meant to create excitement, which I think gives this book an interesting opportunity to discuss other sports-entertainment marketing from pro-wrestling drama to how sports commentators can ...more
"Every hero needs a villain."

The story of the beginnings of the Roller Derby in which promoters set up Gerry Murray and Toughie Brasuhn as rivals in the rink. "Fans would be shocked to learn that the two women, sworn enemies on the track, actually get along just fine." The author's note details the influence that TV had on the roller derby and vice versa.

This is such an interesting, historical topic not written about very often. Author's acknowledgments: "So thanks to those who skat
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, sports
Dramatizes the play-by-play of one of the 1948 matches between "Toughie" Brasuhn and Gerry Murray, New York and Brooklyn Derby "enemies." Gives history of the sport of roller derby, how TV really made Derby big and Derby helped TV get more viewers. Started in 1935, and on local tv in 1946. Great large color realistic illustrations, although trying to make them so photo-realistic makes them a little big-headed, not my favorite style. Timeline of roller derby, notes re: Toughie and Gerry, sources ...more
Michele Knott
Loved reading this book after reading the graphic novel, Roller Girl.
Told in narrative format, the book details two roller derby rivals, Toughie and Gerry, and what they did to win on the track. Even though they were friends outside of the rink, they fought hard to win!
This book tells the history of a period in time when New York roller derby was being televised on local TV - giving the locals a view of the hard working and acting roller derby girls.
The end notes are particularly informa
Brenda Kahn
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought of this title after reading (and loving) Victoria Jamieson's graphic novel debut, Roller Girl. Definitely buying this one to display side by side in my library. The narrative has the intense sound of a sports commentator, the illustrations capture the energy of the sport and personality of the two rivals perfectly. There's plenty of backmatter at the end to send interested readers in search of more information. These two books kind of makes me want to dig out my old skates.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-50-stars
3.5 Stars I think Roller Derby is an incredibly violent sport and having fallen down several times while skating I am not interested in the sport at all.

This book did shed light on the sport and how it started and the stars of the 1950s roller derby stars. I was one of the first sports shown on TV because it was indoors and they could control the light etc and it made it easier to film.

I just see black and blue bruises when I think of this sport.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
A picture book about two roller derby athletes in the late 1940's who were "rivals." They actually played for the same company which was divided into two different squads - one that became the home team and one that played the visitors.

My problem with the book comes at the "end." I don't think the narrative actually ends; it just stops. I was left hanging.
Pam  Page
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a well-researched look at two legendary Roller Derby rivals: Midge "Toughie" Brosuhn and Gerry Murray. The story is interesting, especially for those who know little about roller derby! The ending seemed abrupt but is followed by an author's note, timeline of Roller Derby, Sources and Resources, and photographs of the two women.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit
A fun readalike for Roller Girl, and a great addition to sports nonfiction for kids. Will booktalk to grades 3-4.

This action-filled story follows two women as they race around a roller derby track in a fierce match in 1948. It features a small twist at the end and great back matter on the history of the sport, as well as television's role in its mid-20th-century rise to popularity.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting look at the beginnings of Roller Derby in 1948 and two of the women who skated in it. It's a great book for showing women who broke stereotypes log ago. Recommended for grades 2 and up.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am realizing I read several books this summer that I forgot to add to my list--oops! Enjoyed getting the book at BEA, "speed meeting" the author, and learning a little bit more about this true story! Appreciated the back matter information.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
New favorite "found-on-shelf" book, just on the cover alone...
Sep 29, 2014 added it
I love books that portray strong women characters. I enjoyed that story of the early roller derby, and the creation of the "heroes" and "villains". Fun book for a girl scout troop!
Dominique Mendez
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brief history of Roller Derby told through a picture book format. This is a great read for any fan of the Roller Girl Graphic Novel.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was surprisingly well-researched, with references at the end. The art was exciting and retro
Dec 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-kids
Good art and history of the game, my kids were intrigued. Looking forward to bringing them to a match.
Lisa Bricker
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
I really didn't know anything about the history of roller derby and Toughie makes a great anti-hero. My only wish is that more of what's in the author's note had been included in the story.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
good story and I liked the timeline of derby history in the back.
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