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Hello hello! I am pleased as punch to be hosting my own cover reveal for The Derby Daredevils: Shelly Struggles to Shine!

Book 2 has meant so much to me in fleshing out the Daredevils team through each girl’s perspective. Seeing the cover of Book 1 was an amazing experience—one that made me feel like a real author. But seeing this cover is something else entirely. The cover of Book 2 defines the Daredevils as a true ongoing series. It’s like staring at a painting and then realizing you’re actually looking at a sculpture you get to walk around! With each book I get to explore another angle and facet of this incredible group of kids.

I am so fortunate to call this my job, and I can’t wait to share this *explosively wonderful* cover with you! To celebrate, I came up with five fun facts to share about Book 2:

  • 1. One big element of this book is Shelly’s idea to invent something new for the Daredevils team. As kids, both my sister and I invented stuff all the time. My favorite thing my sister invented was a “heli-bike,” a bicycle that had an overhead propeller like a helicopter!

  • 2. There are many types of art featured in Book 2. Both Shelly’s parents are artists, but work in very different mediums. By the end of the story, Shelly figures out what kind of artist she is through her experiences on the track with the Daredevils!

  • 3. Speaking of artists, the Daredevils illustrator Sophie Escabasse has truly outdone herself with the illustrations in this book, as she includes images drawn in her own style alongside bringing Shelly’s drawings to life! You can catch some glimpses of both styles of illustration on the cover!

  • 4. Series covers are a tricky thing, because the moment two books adhere to the same setup, then every other book in the series has to follow. The Abrams team really pushed the composition in this cover to give the Daredevilslots of room to play in later book cover images!

  • 5. Shelly is a true Virgo, being loyal, kind, and super hardworking. So I was especially thrilled to learn that her book will also a Virgo! The Derby Daredevils: Shelly Struggles to Shine has an official publication date of September 15, 2020. Read below for an excerpt from the first chapter!


“They have to be here. They can’t not be here!”

Fifth grader Shelly Baum leaned across the counter. She used her freshly licked-clean ice pop stick to point toward a pile of skates in the back corner.

“There. With the tangled laces. Those are mine.”

The woman behind the counter, known as Pearl Jammer on the roller derby track, turned toward the pile. “Those haven’t been cleaned yet,” Pearl Jammer said.

Shelly sent a dragon breath of exasperation through her nostrils. “But I just wore them yesterday! If they smell like feet, it’s my feet!”

Pearl Jammer sighed and fished out the pair of old roller skates like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat. Shelly could even see the bunny ear squiggle in the long, looping laces.


“Yep!” Shelly grinned. Her fingers fluttered as she reached for the skates. She checked for the spot of yellow paint on the back wheel, just to be sure.

Shelly slipped her feet into the worn leather, then tugged and twisted and pulled the laces taut around her ankles.

“You ready?” Shelly asked. She turned over her shoulder.

Kenzie, Shelly’s best friend, plopped down on the bleachers next to Shelly. She stuffed her feet into her own pair of skates and took one last bite of her Sour Birthday ice pop—the Dynamic Duo’s favorite. Sour Birthday was a mix of birthday cake and vinegar flavors. It was a little sweet, a little sour, and a whole lot of wacky, which was a pretty good way to describe Shelly and Kenzie.

“Ready,” Kenzie said as she clipped on her helmet.

The girls bumped fists and slid onto the track for their usual warm-up. They had been going to Free Skate nights together at the Austin roller derby warehouse ever since they were in third grade. It had been a Dynamic Duo tradition until last month, when something incredible happened.


And now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… introducing the cover of The Derby Daredevils: Shelly Struggles to Shine!

· Cover designer: Marcie Lawrence

· Cover illustrator: Sophie Escabasse

Don’t you just love those amazingly bright colors, Shelly’s sketches bouncing everywhere, and seeing the expressions on each member of the Daredevils team? I am so completely smitten with this cover, and am thrilled to be sharing it with you all! The synopsis and release details of the book are below. Please consider adding this one to Goodreads and/or pre-ordering today!!!


Now part of the official junior roller derby league, the Derby Daredevils are ready to compete in their first tournament. Kenzie starts writing new game plays. Bree works on her speed. Tomoko sharpens her blocking skills. And Jules fearlessly hip checks everyone in sight. But Shelly isn’t sure what she’s best at. In hopes of taking home the tournament’s Star Skater award, Shelly transforms doodles from her sketchbook into extra-special gear for the Daredevils. But not everything works as well as Shelly imagined, and she can’t get the team on board. Without the gear, how will Shelly shine on the track? With high-energy illustrations from Sophie Escabasse and lots of roller derby action, Book 2 in the series explores individuality while hitting home what it really means to be part of a team.


  • · Title: The Derby Daredevils: Shelly Struggles to Shine

  • · Author: Kit Rosewater

  • · Illustrator: Sophie Escabasse

  • · Target audience: Middle grade, Ages 8-12

  • · Publication date: September 15, 2020

  • · ISBN: 978-1-4197-4685-7


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