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Roller Boy

4.77  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Mateo always assumed he'd make the baseball team with his buddy Jason, but when only Jason makes the team, his mood sinks low. So low, he knows he has to do something about it. But what? What can he be good at? When Mateo wins free lessons, he discovers he's pretty good at roller-skating. And it doesn't hurt that the most beautiful girl he's ever laid eyes on happens to be ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published September 28th 2018 by Fitzroy Books
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Average rating 4.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  30 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Marcia Strykowski has written a rocking and a rolling new novel. Roller Boy is hard to put down and exciting to the end. Join Mateo and friends as they cruise through everyday roller skating practice to their chance at the tournaments. Highly recommended!
Julie Fulton
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mateo wants to be on the school baseball team, but it turns out he isn't good enough. When he wins free roller skating lessons he attends grudgingly, worried his friends (and enemies) will tease him. But Mateo is good at skating. Paired with Roller City's star skater, Hayley, he starts to have some confidence in himself. Strykowski touches on a range of diversities - Mateo is Hispanic, has celiac disease, uncontrollable hair, isn't very big and as such is an obvious target for the neighbourhood ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Any middle schooler who feels pangs of insecurity from time to time (and which one doesn't?), who worries about fitting in (again, did we say "middle schooler"?), or a need to make parents and friends proud of him or herself (hands in the air, anyone?) will find ROLLER BOY a delightful read. Award-winning author of many middle grade novels Marcia Strykowski skillfully weaves together a tale of Mateo ("Tomato"), a Hispanic young man trying to navigate the perilous waters of middle school and the ...more
Cathy Ogren
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this heartwarming story of family values, bullies, and successful goals.
Rebecca M
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Roller Boy is a fun and heartwarming story about a young boy growing up and finding his place in his community. As a former skater, I loved dipping into this world of jumps, spins, and shoot-the-ducks. It brought back so many wonderful rink-side memories! As a librarian, I was happy to see a younger middle grade novel that will appeal to both boys and girls alike. Mateo is a funny, witty character readers will instantly relate to as he navigates normal thirteen-year-old problems like making frie ...more
Kirsti Call
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author
"Who knew, back when he started his first roller-skating class that he'd ever get this involved. Guess he could say winning Ava's crazy raffle had changed his whole outlook on life. His whole life. All because the door closed with the baseball team and opened onto onto skating."

Roller boy is well written, poignant and compelling. Mateo is the kind of main character that you wish you could hang out with in person. He wants more than anything to be on the baseball team, but when he doesn't make th
Sharon CassanoLochman
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marcia Strykowski’s Roller Boy is a middle grade must read! Strykowski’s accurate insight into middle-grade drama is a gentle reminder of the importance of being yourself regardless your age, size, nationality, or interests. This book touches on diversity in a range of directions opening the door for dialogue.
A disheartened Mateo finds another avenue of interest after he’s cut from the baseball team. He takes roller skating lessons and fears ridicule and reprisal for his new hobby. However, Mate
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just like Marcia's previous Amy books, Roller Boy was easy to sink into, like your favorite chair. Marcia knows how to skillfully tap into the feelings of tweens/teens and boys as well as girls will be able to relate to this story. Mateo is struggling for an identity and though baseball pans out, he finds his home in the roller world, and Hayley, a developing "crush" is within that realm. He deals with self-confidence challenges as well as the Dudd Street gang, which will keep readers turning pa ...more
Laurie Edwards
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
When Mateo doesn't make the cut for the baseball team, it seems to be the end of his friendships and his dreams. Then he wins free roller skating lessons. Reluctant to try such an unappealing sport, he plans to drop out after six weeks. But then he meets Hayley. A chance to skate with this hot girl keeps him coming back. But little does he know this choice will change his life in ways he didn't expect.

Fast, fun read.
Rebecca Colby
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Mateo doesn't make the cut for the school baseball team, he learns he has another talent--roller skating. In developing this new talent, he also overcomes some of his insecurities about not making the team, not liking his hair, and having celiac disease, while also facing the bullies in his life. This is a fun read and enjoyable story for middle grade novel readers about developing confidence.
Laura Cooper
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From beginning to end, Roller Boy is pure joy. Author Marcia Strykowski is a master at capturing the middle school voice and bringing main character Mateo Garcia to life. You can't help but cheer him on as he navigates through disappointments, dangers, unexpected opportunities, and ultimately triumph. The writing and pacing are flawless, making this a great classroom read. I can't recommend it enough!
Adaela McLaughlin
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One skinny 13 year old looks inside and comes up big in this middle grade novel. When people believe in Mateo and help him achieve his dream, he responds by reaching for his courage and finally, showing the world what he's got. Wonderfully written and powerfully messaged, this book zings with delight at every turn of the page.
Maura Nt
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Roller Boy, from the first pages I was caught up in this young boy's story. Unlike many children's novels about sports, this had more of a literary quality with fully developed characters. Between his sister and his best friend/skating pal, there are plenty of fun females in the story, too. My girls and I were hooked right to the last page!
Yvonne Ventresca
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
In Roller Boy, Strykowski explores how Mateo’s middle school setback (not making the baseball team) eventually leads to a triumph in the roller-skating rink. Mateo’s passion and skill develop naturally and realistically over the course of the novel. With roller-skating at its heart, Roller Boy presents an alternative to typical sports team success stories.
Rosemary Krol
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I totally enjoyed reading Roller Boy. Mateo is a character that is easy to like and can be a role model for a lot of kids. He's smart, funny and doesn't let things get him down. He's a well-defined character that I think kids will enjoy getting to know. Maybe we'll have more of his adventures in print one day.
Jill Gustafson
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been waiting for the release of Roller Boy, and as soon as I opened the package, I started reading. This book did not disappoint. Great, believable characters, a suspenseful plot and some great life lessons hidden in amongst the fun. I will be recommending this to all of my young friends.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I became engrossed right away in the first few pages when I felt Mateo's disappointment when he didn't make the baseball team. From then on I was hooked. Very good character portrayal, some good, some bad as in real life. Great choice for boys and girls of all ages.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book – it made me want to roller skate! Main character Mateo discovers his passion for roller skating at the local rink. This is an excellent, contemporary story of a boy in middle school. It was wonderfully written.
Carol Ekster
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Roller Boy is a well written engaging story about a middle-schooler, Mateo Garcia, faced with a gluten allergy, bullies and insecurities. Great plot and voice.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One boy's journey toward confronting the skeptical voices in his life, both internal and external, and ultimately overcoming them, are at the heart of this entertaining and genuinely heartwarming novel by Marcia Strykowski. It's a warm and skillfully told story about a boy navigating the confusing waters of middle-school insecurities, bullies, competitors, and a particularly annoying gluten allergy. Highly recommended.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. The author's writing style transports the reader into Mateo's world, hard to put down. The book is filled with childhood life lessons presented in an entertaining way.
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CALL ME AMY was on Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year, and was also shortlisted for the Crystal Kite Award. AMY'S CHOICE is the sequel. Next up, ROLLER BOY! Living in New England, Marcia has always felt a connection to the ocean and its creatures. When she's not watching the waves, she works at a public library. To learn more about the author and her books, please visit:


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