Shred Girls: Ali’s Rocky Ride

Rodale Kids. (Shred Girls: Bk. 2). Jul. 2020. 240p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781635652802.
Gr 5 Up–Thirteen-year-old Ali loves riding and aspires to be a professional bike rider. She is on an all-girls biking team and keeps track of her progress in a training log. While Ali has been riding for years, she struggles with the criticism doled out by her older brothers. Ali feels like she needs to prove to them that she’s not just their younger sister, but on a team of her own. She trains for a downhill riding competition two weeks away with friends Jen and Lindsay, and her coach Phoebe. Ali’s techniques and confidence improve, but there are times where she feels like she’s competing against her friends too. With Phoebe’s guidance, Ali begins to understand that her older brothers’ criticisms are well-intentioned, and that she can learn to express her frustration with others differently. Hurford offers readers a fun and informative story about girls in sports. The characters are multilayered and the relationships are authentic. Illustrations and a glossary provide additional context for biking as a competitive sport.
VERDICT This is a fun and action-packed story about being true to oneself, sports, family, and the importance of friendship. A recommended purchase for middle grade collections.

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