Sibby, a talented skateboarder, must move after her father loses his job.
Moving would be hard enough, but she’s broken her skateboard, and without one, she’s bereft and seething with frustration and anger at the unwanted changes in her life. Shortly after she arrives in her new home, a bullying skateboarder, Freddie, mocks Sibby and her new almost-friends then challenges her to a skateboarding duel, mostly to embarrass her. If she loses—and she’s unwilling to not accept his challenge—she has to give him her cool skateboarding shoes that she won in a competition. After his grandfather dies, the other kids sagely realize that his long illness may account for Freddie’s increasingly bad behavior. When the skateboarding challenge finally occurs, Sibby has, predictably, gained some insight into her own feelings and those of the others in her group, enabling her both to skate well and to reach out to Freddie. Rich with skateboarding language, it’s the insider view of that culture that sets this effort apart from other tales dealing with bullies. Although Sibby is somewhat three dimensional, other characters lack sufficient development to breathe life into them. Set in Nova Scotia, the book adheres to the white default. Childishly cute cover art makes this appear to be a story for a much younger audience.
An average tale that catches some air thanks to a strong, even “super dope,” skateboarding theme. (Fiction. 10-12)