Roll with It
This big-hearted middle grade debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.Ellie’s a girl who tells it like it is. That surprises some people, who see a kid in a wheelchair and think she’s going to be all sunshine and cuddles. The thing is, Ellie has big dreams: She might be eating Stouffer’s for dinner, but one day she’s going to be a professional baker. If she’s not writing fan letters to her favorite celebrity chefs, she’s practicing recipes on her well-meaning, if overworked, mother.But when Ellie and her mom move so they can help take care of her ailing grandpa, Ellie has to start all over again in a new town at a new school. Except she’s not just the new kid—she’s the new kid in the wheelchair who lives in the trailer park on the wrong side of town. It all feels like one challenge too many, until Ellie starts to make her first-ever friends. Now she just has to convince her mom that this town might just be the best thing that ever happened to them!

Roll with It Details

TitleRoll with It
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 1st, 2019
PublisherAtheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781534442559
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Disability, Fiction, Family

Roll with It Review

  • Kales
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this book because my niece uses a wheelchair and I thought it was super cool that there was a young girl in a wheelchair on the front cover of this book. So I wanted to check out the rep and see if this was something that I could recommend to her. And honestly, I would.It is a sweet book with a spunky main character. There are a lot of real issues in this book which is great and unexpected for a middle grade book. Ellie is an independent girl who is dealing with a lot, CP, moving, I picked up this book because my niece uses a wheelchair and I thought it was super cool that there was a young girl in a wheelchair on the front cover of this book. So I wanted to check out the rep and see if this was something that I could recommend to her. And honestly, I would.It is a sweet book with a spunky main character. There are a lot of real issues in this book which is great and unexpected for a middle grade book. Ellie is an independent girl who is dealing with a lot, CP, moving, loneliness, living with a single parent, her grandfather's alzheimer's, and more. It's told through a unique voice that is typical of a twelve year old. So that was enjoyable.Also, I was obsessed with Ellie's obsession with baking. It was the perfect addition to this book. It sprinkled on to her personality and gave her purpose which I loved. It's not a typical thing you see from a twelve year old but it was good and unique and fun to see how it all played out.My biggest issues with this book was the lack of plot along with the ASD rep. I feel like we were just floating along in Ellie's story which works for some books but I still think in a middle grade, there needs to be more of a solid plotline. And it's also a personal thing. I like a story with a strong plotline; slice of life stories are not my thing.Finally, I liked that they included Bert in the story. He was a sweet character and thought it was a good rep to have in the book. However, I still feel like they made fun of him a lot. And for all Ellie talked about knowing about ASD, no one did anything to help this kid. And he still felt like the butt of the joke which I didn't appreciate. Especially one scene when he looked so sad and they asked him why and he said he still had 28 slides left on his presentation. Instead of understanding and letting him finish, or even having a moment with him, that line was left as the end of a chapter, leaving Bert's disappointment as the joke. Instead of laughing, I felt so hard for him because I have been that kid and it was sad to see his story just kind of fall off the map. And his bullying plotline also never got resolved. Or Coralee's mother's thing...they just seemed thrown in there. And that made me sad.So while there is great rep, the book is still lacking and while I would still recommend it to my niece, because it's a good fit for younger readers, I wish there was more. Basically it is a step in the right direction but still needs work.Conclusion: Maybe
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusEllie and her mother live in Nashville; her father left when she was young and has another family. Ellie loves baking, and gets along okay at school. She has an aide who helps her navigate with her wheelchair, but Lauren is also another level of supervision that makes it really hard to get away with any misbehavior. After a recent incident at school, Ellie is expecting to get in trouble with her mom, but a lot of other things are going on. On the bright side, Ellie's E ARC from Edelweiss PlusEllie and her mother live in Nashville; her father left when she was young and has another family. Ellie loves baking, and gets along okay at school. She has an aide who helps her navigate with her wheelchair, but Lauren is also another level of supervision that makes it really hard to get away with any misbehavior. After a recent incident at school, Ellie is expecting to get in trouble with her mom, but a lot of other things are going on. On the bright side, Ellie's neurologist agrees she can be taken off seizure medication, but on the not-so-bright side, her grandfather's behavior has become very erratic. Ellie and her mother go to visit them for Christmas, not telling her Memaw that they plan on staying. Ellie will enroll in the local school in Oklahoma, and her mother is taking a leave of absence from her teaching job and will substitute. Memaw's not too happy, but realizes that she needs help. The trailer in which they live is small, and it's a bit hard for Ellie to go about her daily tasks, so she needs more help from her mother. She manages to get away with not having an aide at school, and makes friends with two neighbors, Coralee and Bert. Both are a bit quirky, but Ellie enjoys their company, and feels odd that for once, it's not her wheelchair that sets her apart, it's the fact that she lives in a trailer park! As she spends more time with her grandparents and new friends, Ellie begins to realize that she prefers to be in Oklahoma rather than in Nashville, where she felt lonely. Will her mother decide that they need to return "home" once the grandparents have a plan for going forward?Strengths: I really believe that most middle school students are more curious about differences than mean about them, and Coralee and Bert both evidence this in their treatment of Ellie. Ellie herself is very matter of fact about what she can and can't do, and there is enough description about the help she needs to enlighten readers who have never encountered someone in a wheelchair. While the move necessitates some discussion of her wheelchair use, this is a book about the family dynamics and the grandfather's Alzheimer's as well as settling in to a new community. It was fast-paced, fun to read, and included a lot of good baking descriptions. The cover is appealing, and I can see this being a popular book with my students. Weaknesses: I was weirdly bothered by the fact that Ellie's real name was Lily, and Ellie was her childish mispronunciation. We will blame this on the fact my daughter is Eleanor, but I wanted to name her Lily. Also, I wish the grandfather's dementia had been treated a bit more seriously. Yes, it's good that the grandparents moved into a senior facility, but that is not going to stop the grandfather's decline. We will blame this on the fact that I have seen my mother decline very rapidly this summer. What I really thought: This hit the sweet spot on a lot of levels-- Ellie is pragmatic but not noble, her mother is concerned but proactive, and the grandparents are aware of their situation and actively looking for a solution. There are a lot of problem novels for middle grade readers, and I've given up complaining about them; I am just glad when we see problem novels that model a positive way forward. Ellie is a great example of how to "roll with it" in a positive manner.
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  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book--I couldn't put it down. I loved Ellie, and I loved her family, her two friends, and Hutch! I don't come across too many books where the main character has a disability and I love it when I find one that is so full of heart. It was helpful to see the challenges that Ellie faces on a daily basis, and how she feels about the things she can and cannot change. I love how she worries more about her grandpa than about herself, and how she loves her family fiercely. And I love how I loved this book--I couldn't put it down. I loved Ellie, and I loved her family, her two friends, and Hutch! I don't come across too many books where the main character has a disability and I love it when I find one that is so full of heart. It was helpful to see the challenges that Ellie faces on a daily basis, and how she feels about the things she can and cannot change. I love how she worries more about her grandpa than about herself, and how she loves her family fiercely. And I love how much of a "normal" tween she is and that this makes it okay to be not normal, which is really the norm, lol. The other thing I loved was how they treated the challenges of loving and caring for a person with dementia. As the daughter of someone who passed away from dementia, this really made me cry. I also appreciated the fact that they shared how her grandpa felt in his more lucid moments about what he was dealing with. The only flaws to this book is that I wish they had done a bit more with Bert and the ASD in terms of Ellie and her friends growing in understanding of what it's like to be him. They touched on it, which I appreciate it, but I think it would have hit it out of the park if they had developed that part just a bit more. Still, I will still give this book 5 stars because I think it's a huge step in the right direction and because I couldn't put it down. I hope to see more books like this!Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    Interest Level: 5-8Have you ever had to move to a new city, a new state, and a new school? It's not easy is it? Now imagine you have to do it from a wheelchair. This is the life of Ellie Cowan. Ellie has Cerebral Palsy and has lived her whole life in a wheelchair. Sometimes when you see a girl in a wheelchair you think she will be all sunshine and roses... but not Ellie. She speaks her mind and tells it like it is. She stands up for herself always and is very independent. Ellie and her mom live Interest Level: 5-8Have you ever had to move to a new city, a new state, and a new school? It's not easy is it? Now imagine you have to do it from a wheelchair. This is the life of Ellie Cowan. Ellie has Cerebral Palsy and has lived her whole life in a wheelchair. Sometimes when you see a girl in a wheelchair you think she will be all sunshine and roses... but not Ellie. She speaks her mind and tells it like it is. She stands up for herself always and is very independent. Ellie and her mom live in Tennessee where her mom is a high school teacher and Ellie doesn't have many friends. But Ellie's grandpa has dementia and is not doing well, so Ellie and her mom move to Oklahoma to help her Mema take care of him. So now Ellie is the new kid in town, in wheelchair, in a trailer, on the wrong side of town. How will she ever make friends? But unbeknownst to Ellie and her mom, this is exactly where they were meant to be. They begin to make some friends, Ellie begins baking again, and things seem good, that is until everything falls apart. Ellie's grandpa leaves the fish fry and no one can find him and Ellie is found unconscious in the gym at school. Is all of this too much for Ellie's mom to handle? Does she have to move her and Ellie back to Tennessee to be closer to the Children's Hospital? Just when Ellie's life was coming together is it now going to fall apart? Read this incredible book to find out all of these answers. Roll With It is one of my favorite books of 2019! Jamie Sumner creates a character that you want to give a big hug to but you know that if you do she might punch you in the stomach. Ellie is a strong, independent girl with big dreams and she will not let a wheelchair get in her way. Sumner also creates supporting characters that abound with friendship and love. This is a must read!!!!! Don't miss it!!! Follow me:Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.com/Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra...Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr...Twitter - @laurieevans27 https://twitter.com/laurieevans27?lan...Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1...Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2...YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulD...Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-ev...
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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    Representation matters, but I wonder if maybe this took a spot or resources from another middle-grade novel written by someone who was actually disabled. How many books with little girls in wheelchairs on the cover is Target going to stock? How much would it suck to be disabled and realize that this decent rep is another way a disability parent gets to talk down to you?Other than the ubiquitous "crazy" slur on mental health, I didn't see any egregious ableist takes (I am physically abled and not Representation matters, but I wonder if maybe this took a spot or resources from another middle-grade novel written by someone who was actually disabled. How many books with little girls in wheelchairs on the cover is Target going to stock? How much would it suck to be disabled and realize that this decent rep is another way a disability parent gets to talk down to you?Other than the ubiquitous "crazy" slur on mental health, I didn't see any egregious ableist takes (I am physically abled and not an activist, so not the best judge), I don't think it's going to harm your kid with CP, decent story etc., but wish the publishers would have gone with someone who was an expert because they'd lived it, and not just someone who's watched someone else live it.
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  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie's voice grabbed me from the first page and just wouldn't let go. I honestly couldn't put this book down. This is a story with a lot of heart and humor and an absolutely unforgettable protagonist. Author Jamie Sumner has a son with CP, so she writes from a place of experience with CP and wheelchairs and the like. I don't have the knowledge to judge how accurate this story is to a disability experience, but coming from a writer who has a lot of experience with a close family member with a Ellie's voice grabbed me from the first page and just wouldn't let go. I honestly couldn't put this book down. This is a story with a lot of heart and humor and an absolutely unforgettable protagonist. Author Jamie Sumner has a son with CP, so she writes from a place of experience with CP and wheelchairs and the like. I don't have the knowledge to judge how accurate this story is to a disability experience, but coming from a writer who has a lot of experience with a close family member with a disability gives me some confidence in its authenticity. At its heart, this is a story with very universal themes - finding true friends who accept you as who you are, doing what you need to do to help family members in times of need.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    *Review is of an advanced reader copyIn a word - terrific! This is the absolutely delightful tale of a twelve-year-old girl, wheelchair bound due to cerebral palsy, who refuses to play the victim. Ellie is spunky and determined, blessed with a wry sense of humor and grit. When she and her mother move to Oklahoma to assist with the care of her grandfather, she continues to roll along in spite of the "new girl" status and trailer park residence. Soon befriended by a couple of other outsiders, *Review is of an advanced reader copyIn a word - terrific! This is the absolutely delightful tale of a twelve-year-old girl, wheelchair bound due to cerebral palsy, who refuses to play the victim. Ellie is spunky and determined, blessed with a wry sense of humor and grit. When she and her mother move to Oklahoma to assist with the care of her grandfather, she continues to roll along in spite of the "new girl" status and trailer park residence. Soon befriended by a couple of other outsiders, Ellie's world takes some surprising turns. Ellie rises to the challenge, using her baking prowess as an outlet and hobby.Jamie Sumner, the mother to a child with cerebral palsy, has penned an outstanding middle grade novel. Refreshing in a world where playing the victim card is par for the course, Roll with It succeeds precisely because its central characters accept the hands their dealt with aplomb, determined to make the most of their abilities and never viewing life's circumstances as an excuse to give up.
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  • Calleen Petersen
    January 1, 1970
    I love the book. From a reader’s perspective, it flows well. The characters are developed and real. There is a real story there that makes you laugh and cheer.As a Mom of a special needs kid, this book rocks! We need more books like this that show what our kids can do and that they are people just like us. I was impressed with how seamlessly she brought issues like the girl being afraid that one day she would be put in a home, and the way in which she handles it. I love everything Jamie Sumner I love the book. From a reader’s perspective, it flows well. The characters are developed and real. There is a real story there that makes you laugh and cheer.As a Mom of a special needs kid, this book rocks! We need more books like this that show what our kids can do and that they are people just like us. I was impressed with how seamlessly she brought issues like the girl being afraid that one day she would be put in a home, and the way in which she handles it. I love everything Jamie Sumner writes.
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  • Bonnie Grover
    January 1, 1970
    “You will never be normal.” Ellie is a middle school student with big dreams. She is also the the new girl in a new town and a new school. She’s the new kid in a wheelchair. I loved her spunk and her ability to make friends and find a space for herself. “Sometimes the best plan is the one you don’t make for yourself.” I know this is going to be a student favorite!
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  • Lana
    January 1, 1970
    This was a delightful story about a young girl named Ellie with cerebral palsy. She struggles with starting over when her and her mom move to help care for her aging grandparents. Starting a new school is hard enough when you don’t live with disabilities, and for Ellie it was hard. Ellie is able to make some new friends and show that she is more than just “the girl in the wheel chair” when she shares her love for baking! I have had some children in my preschool with cerebral palsy, but my This was a delightful story about a young girl named Ellie with cerebral palsy. She struggles with starting over when her and her mom move to help care for her aging grandparents. Starting a new school is hard enough when you don’t live with disabilities, and for Ellie it was hard. Ellie is able to make some new friends and show that she is more than just “the girl in the wheel chair” when she shares her love for baking! I have had some children in my preschool with cerebral palsy, but my understanding of living with it is very limited.. This book is soo great for anyone living with cerebral palsy or any other disability. My 9 yr old has developmental disabilities and I thought of him while reading this story. This would be a great addition to any school library! Thank you for this review copy.
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  • Gretchen Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic read- sharing this with my own third grader all the way up to my eighth graders and adults.
  • J.C.
    January 1, 1970
    I started this book enthusiastic, but my enthusiasm waned as the book went on. However, I was still impressed by it as a middle-grade novel as a whole, and found it refreshingly clean of agendas or modern movements. There was no romance, no innuendo, no subtle pushing; instead, simply a story of a flawed family with a lot of love. I really liked how Ellie’s mom was very much imperfect—portraying parents like this is rare in MG but soooo necessary. Ellie’s character growth was pretty amazing and I started this book enthusiastic, but my enthusiasm waned as the book went on. However, I was still impressed by it as a middle-grade novel as a whole, and found it refreshingly clean of agendas or modern movements. There was no romance, no innuendo, no subtle pushing; instead, simply a story of a flawed family with a lot of love. I really liked how Ellie’s mom was very much imperfect—portraying parents like this is rare in MG but soooo necessary. Ellie’s character growth was pretty amazing and really cool to watch. And of course I was completely in love with Coralee and Bert! And hearing Ellie’s voice gave me a deeper understanding for individuals with CP and of course any novel that helps support these amazing kidlets with disabilities is a novel I support. Moreover, though the book is not a “Christian novel”, there were many references to God as part of Ellie’s story, mostly involving her wondering about God and talking to Him, which, while her theology and/or viewpoints may have been slightly skewed, I found the fact it was included as often as it was very encouraging. I wasn’t blown away by the plot—there didn’t feel like any strong climax or typical plot pattern—but it was still a sweet story. Overall, I wasn’t blown away, but I still enjoyed it and found it a clean, wholesome, and positive story. 4.0 stars.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.5 StarsThough Ellie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, she was fiercely independent. However, after her grandfather's dementia progressed, she and her mother moved to Oklahoma, in order to care for him. As if being the new kid wasn't hard enough, she was also the only one in a wheelchair in a town lacking accessibility. Despite those drawbacks, Ellie began to settle in, and was thinking this could be her new home. All she had to do was convince her mother.What a wonderful and Rating: 4.5 StarsThough Ellie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, she was fiercely independent. However, after her grandfather's dementia progressed, she and her mother moved to Oklahoma, in order to care for him. As if being the new kid wasn't hard enough, she was also the only one in a wheelchair in a town lacking accessibility. Despite those drawbacks, Ellie began to settle in, and was thinking this could be her new home. All she had to do was convince her mother.What a wonderful and heartwarming story! I adored Ellie, her wry personality, and her passion for baking. After the move, she could have opted to have a pity party, but instead, she found things to be positive about. She was making friends, she was getting stronger with the help of her very capable gym teacher (Hutch), and she was looking forward to winning the annual pie baking contest. I loved Ellie's attitude, and respected, that her biggest qualm was not that she had CP, but that she had lost a lot of her independence, due to the lack of accessibility.Ellie was by far the star of this story, but she had a great supporting cast of characters. Her friends, Cora Lee and Bert were wonderfully unique and interesting, but I really loved them, because of what incredible friends they were to her. They embraced Ellie and accepted her, when she had previously spent most of her school life on the outside looking in. It was exciting to see her form these bonds, and I loved their plan to help her "stay forever".I also thought Ellie and her mom shared a special relationship. Her father had left, when she was young, so it was really only her and her mom. Mom was a bit overprotective, but it came from a place of love, and I think Sumner did a beautiful job showing how difficult it was for her mother to strike that right balance of mothering with the autonomy a child Ellie's age craved.I can promise you, that at the end of this book, you will have a warm heart, a smile on your face, and a craving for baked goods.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Shaye Miller
    January 1, 1970
    12-year-old Ellie is bright, witty, and full of spunk! She just so happens to have cerebral palsy, use a wheel chair, and occasionally needs help with a few every day tasks. But that certainly doesn’t change the fact that she has hopes and dreams and joys and hurts just like everyone else. In the beginning of this story, Ellie’s mom moves her from Tennessee to Oklahoma so they can help with Ellie’s grandfather who suffers from dementia. And it doesn’t take long for Ellie to make herself at home 12-year-old Ellie is bright, witty, and full of spunk! She just so happens to have cerebral palsy, use a wheel chair, and occasionally needs help with a few every day tasks. But that certainly doesn’t change the fact that she has hopes and dreams and joys and hurts just like everyone else. In the beginning of this story, Ellie’s mom moves her from Tennessee to Oklahoma so they can help with Ellie’s grandfather who suffers from dementia. And it doesn’t take long for Ellie to make herself at home at her new school. I just loved her voice and open commentary on the world around her. I also enjoyed reading this interview with Jamie Sumner at From the Mixed Up Files (AKA “MUF”) about this book. It’s important to note that this story was inspired by her son who, like Ellie, has cerebral palsy. I’m so glad this book is out in the world and I hope it will find a place in homes and libraries everywhere!For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    She had me at British Baking Show. Ellie is an aspiring baker and is inspired by Mary Berry, Julia Child and other baking greats. She is also confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy and lives with her divorced mother. The two of them move to a trailer in Oklahoma to help Mema take care of grandpa after his dementia symptoms cause a couple of dangerous accidents. Now she is the new kid in a wheelchair at a small middle school coming from the wrong side of town -- the trailer park. Spunky She had me at British Baking Show. Ellie is an aspiring baker and is inspired by Mary Berry, Julia Child and other baking greats. She is also confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy and lives with her divorced mother. The two of them move to a trailer in Oklahoma to help Mema take care of grandpa after his dementia symptoms cause a couple of dangerous accidents. Now she is the new kid in a wheelchair at a small middle school coming from the wrong side of town -- the trailer park. Spunky Ellie may be down, but she is not out. With the help of her two new friends, Coralee and Bert (short for Robert), she will learn the joys of not being normal and discovering who she really is. This book reveals much about living with a disability without being just about that. Ellie's voice is authentic and will provide a much needed window for middle grade kids to living with CP. There is something for everyone in here: baking, therapy, mini golf, pageantry, fishing, and more. As promised on the cover, there is most definitely PIE! This is most definitely one of my favorite new juvenile titles in 2019. Enjoy.Thank you, thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's and NetGalley for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Janell Madison
    January 1, 1970
    “Roll With It” by Jamie Sumner is a very real book. Real in the sense that it talks about a lot of big issues that middle school kids face. The cliques, the have’s and the have not’s, who lives where, how to handle the first day at a new school. And, Ellie is going through all of it in her wheelchair.When Ellie and her Mom need to move to help care for her Grandparents, Ellie cannot believe she has to start over at a new school. And, she has to convince her Mom she isn’t a baby anymore. After a “Roll With It” by Jamie Sumner is a very real book. Real in the sense that it talks about a lot of big issues that middle school kids face. The cliques, the have’s and the have not’s, who lives where, how to handle the first day at a new school. And, Ellie is going through all of it in her wheelchair.When Ellie and her Mom need to move to help care for her Grandparents, Ellie cannot believe she has to start over at a new school. And, she has to convince her Mom she isn’t a baby anymore. After a terrible first day that leaves Ellie in tears, is there any hope?At home, Ellie is determined to be a professional baker. She loves it and she’s really good at it! Determined to make her dream come true she practices all the time.When her Mom plans a new pick up and drop off plan with neighbors, Ellie is not happy, but sometimes new arrangements work out. Who ever would have thought that after a rough start, Ellie might never want to leave?Heart warming, a family filled with love, a kid with courage, friends and big dreams make this book a winner! –Green Gables Book Reviews5 stars! Your Middle School Age kids will love this book!
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  • Sandy Brehl
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie/Lily is an unforgettable character with a family that feels familiar and yet very special. It's an entertaining and emotional story that keeps readers turing pages, seeking answers, and always rooting for Ellie to succeed- at supporting her family, gaining independence, establishing friendship, and winning that elusive blue ribbon for baking! The unique secondary characters (and even tangential ones) are so well developed without distracting from the central issues and action. This story Ellie/Lily is an unforgettable character with a family that feels familiar and yet very special. It's an entertaining and emotional story that keeps readers turing pages, seeking answers, and always rooting for Ellie to succeed- at supporting her family, gaining independence, establishing friendship, and winning that elusive blue ribbon for baking! The unique secondary characters (and even tangential ones) are so well developed without distracting from the central issues and action. This story rolls along without a whiff of pity or playing on cheap emotional tricks. I have no doubt that we'll be reading more about Ellie and her heartwarming family and friends in a sequel or series.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the other cover better - the cartoony cover makes this look like it's for middle schoolers.
  • McKenzie Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-CycleI loved this book. The writing was perfect. From the first page, I was instantly caught up in the narration. It was so casual and friendly. Even though the plot was not very complex, I was never bored or in a hurry to finish a section. I also thought the pacing was very good. Some books really drag in the middle, but this one kept a steady pace.I personally don't know a lot about CP so it was awesome to see a perspective of it, especially from an For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-CycleI loved this book. The writing was perfect. From the first page, I was instantly caught up in the narration. It was so casual and friendly. Even though the plot was not very complex, I was never bored or in a hurry to finish a section. I also thought the pacing was very good. Some books really drag in the middle, but this one kept a steady pace.I personally don't know a lot about CP so it was awesome to see a perspective of it, especially from an author who has a son with CP. It's always wonderful to see more representation in books and this one did a great job.I really liked the focus on Ellie's abilities. Yes, there are things that she can't do in the same way as others, but she has many talents and just because she's in a wheelchair doesn't mean she can't do something. The book showed a great range of people's views of her, from Hutch who doesn't let her out of gym class with the other students to those who view her as a little kid because of her wheelchair. It's a great way to make the reader think about how they treat people and question their preconceived notions about others' abilities. Various aspects of Alzheimer's are also brought up as well as a brief touch on autism spectrum disorders. I thought the author did a good job bringing things together to really get to the heart of what we consider "normal" and how we treat people who don't fit into that mold. A truly wonderful book that explores the concept of normal and shows the power of individual differences. This was a delight to read with its lovable characters and feel-good ending.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I randomly came across this book one day at Target. The cover drew my attention because my 11-year-old uses a wheelchair and has CP. When I read her Ellie's description of what it's like to have an aide at school (my daughter also has a 1:1), about having an adult near you all the time and treating you like your fragile and having to have help using the bathroom, she said, "I would say that is all accurate. Is she writing about my life or something?" It's nice to see characters my daughter can I randomly came across this book one day at Target. The cover drew my attention because my 11-year-old uses a wheelchair and has CP. When I read her Ellie's description of what it's like to have an aide at school (my daughter also has a 1:1), about having an adult near you all the time and treating you like your fragile and having to have help using the bathroom, she said, "I would say that is all accurate. Is she writing about my life or something?" It's nice to see characters my daughter can identify with. Representation matters. My only quibble is that not all kids with CP get sicker than regular kids or have a more compromised immune system. I realize the author is likely basing that aspect of Ellie's character off experiences with her own child, but by not making clear that it was specific to Ellie, it just perpetuates the idea that people in wheelchairs and/or with CP are fragile.
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  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    Twelve-year-old Ellie loves to bake. She writes letters to famous chefs and cookbook authors, asking questions to make her own art better. She's frustrated by her overprotective mom, having to go to the bathroom at school with the help of an aide, and her father, who exists in theory, not so much in practice. Ellie also has cerebral palsy, or CP, which keeps her wheelchair-bound, but never out of the game. After her grandfather, who has dementia, drives his car into a local supermarket, Ellie's Twelve-year-old Ellie loves to bake. She writes letters to famous chefs and cookbook authors, asking questions to make her own art better. She's frustrated by her overprotective mom, having to go to the bathroom at school with the help of an aide, and her father, who exists in theory, not so much in practice. Ellie also has cerebral palsy, or CP, which keeps her wheelchair-bound, but never out of the game. After her grandfather, who has dementia, drives his car into a local supermarket, Ellie's mom packs up and heads to Eufala, Oklahoma, to live with and help out. Ellie's grandmother is thrilled to have her family for a visit, but makes it clear that she's not putting her husband into a home. Ellie starts school and a new life in Oklahoma, befriending Coralee and Bert; schoolmates who have their own eccentric flairs, and taking on a school that isn't ready for Ellie.Inspired by her son, Roll With It is author Jamie Sumner's first novel, and with it, she has given us a main character who is upbeat, smart, funny, and darned independent. She's a tween on the verge of teenhood, coping with adolescent feelings and frustrations on top of family worries, like her grandfather's increasing dementia, concern about her grandmother, and a father that she's disappointed in and hurt by. On top of that, she has the struggles that come with being in a school ill-equipped to work with her needs, and being the new kid in the middle of a school year. How does she cope? She lets you know what's going on! Her voice is strong and clear, in her fantastic tweenage snark and honesty. Her friends Coralee and Bert have fully-realized backstories, giving them life beyond being Ellie's friends in the background. Ellie's grandparents and mother emerge as realistic, three-dimensional characters with big concerns of their own: family health, an absent spouse, bills, bills, bills. A story about fitting in and standing out, following a dream and making your own way, Ellie is a character you want to cheer for and your kids will want to hang out with. Hand this to any of your realistic fiction readers, especially the kids that love Aven's adventures in Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling or Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind; for your baking aficionados, give to readers who loved Jessie Janowitz's The Doughnut Fix/The Doughnut King, and Anna Meriano's Love Sugar Magic books. Talk this up to your teacher visitors, and suggest they take a look at it (I'm always ready to push good Summer Reading list ideas).Roll With It has starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly. Check out Jamie Sumner's author webpage, where you can sign up to receive her newsletter and download a free discussion guide.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn’t have loved this story more! I smiled, I cheered, I clinched my fists in frustration and I felt a warm cozy feeling as I read this sweet story about a spunky, determined girl. Not only did Ellie have to deal with the usual middle school angst (lunch table drama, living on the “wrong” side of the tracks, giving a how-to speech) she also had to deal with CP and spending her life in a wheelchair. She was usually ok with it, but sometimes when there are no accessibility provisions and she I couldn’t have loved this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ story more! I smiled, I cheered, I clinched my fists in frustration and I felt a warm cozy feeling as I read this sweet story about a spunky, determined girl. Not only did Ellie have to deal with the usual middle school angst (lunch table drama, living on the “wrong” side of the tracks, giving a how-to speech) she also had to deal with CP and spending her life in a wheelchair. She was usually ok with it, but sometimes when there are no accessibility provisions and she yearns to just be a normal kid, it’s really hard. But she’s surrounded by so much love at home. Meme with her long braid, wise thoughts and a tremendous amount of patience, Grandpa’s constant support (at least when he remembers who Ellie is) and of course Ellie’s mom; the loving,supportive fierce advocate for what’s best for Ellie. And then there are Ellie’s best friends. All kids who have never had a best friend before and now suddenly have two! Coralee, who is certain she’ll the next Dolly Parton and just might be and Bert, the serious tech wizard who might have a little bit of a crush on Ellie. Despite their own problems, they easily accept Ellie’s wheelchair and happily give her help and support when needed, as well as fiercely cheer on her accomplishments. Finally, another reason I loved this story - the baking! Ellie is obsessed with The Great British Bake-off and Smitten Kitchen (yes, that’s me, too!) and is constantly practicing her baking, trying recipes from Southern Living, Merry Berry and Smitten Kitchen. The best part is when Ellie writes to them to share both about her successes and her failures. If you have a MG reader, or you would simply love to read a sweet story that will warm you during these cold, wintry days, this is the one. You’ll want to have it on your bookshelf, for sure!!
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie isn’t the sweet little girl everyone thinks she is simply because she’s in a wheelchair. No, she has plenty of opinions and shares them too. Where Ellie’s sweetness does come in is her baking. She plans one day to be a professional baker. When Ellie’s grandfather manages to drive his truck into the front of his local grocery store, Ellie and her mother move across the country to live with her grandparents in their trailer. Ellie has to start a new school in January, though she really doesn Ellie isn’t the sweet little girl everyone thinks she is simply because she’s in a wheelchair. No, she has plenty of opinions and shares them too. Where Ellie’s sweetness does come in is her baking. She plans one day to be a professional baker. When Ellie’s grandfather manages to drive his truck into the front of his local grocery store, Ellie and her mother move across the country to live with her grandparents in their trailer. Ellie has to start a new school in January, though she really doesn’t have any friends to miss. Ellie’s mother has to drive her to school and takes two other kids from the trailer park along. Steadily, Ellie begins to make her first-ever friends but when a health crisis arises it may mean leaving this town where she finally feels she belongs.I love the immediate shattering of stereotypes in this book as Ellie has a strong voice of her own that has a little more spice than sugar in it. It’s her voice that makes the book a compelling read, whether she is writing fan letters to chefs or speaking out about her own needs. The book also does a great job of showing children who don’t use a wheelchair the many barriers that those in wheelchairs face on a daily basis. Sumner never allows those barriers to be turned into personal responsibility for Ellie, assigning them firmly to society.Sumner’s writing is lively. While Ellie herself a particularly great protagonist, the secondary characters also shine. From Ellie’s mother to her grandparents to the children she befriends. Each one is a distinct character, and that includes her grandfather who may have dementia and still is more than his limitations as well.Bravo! This is a great read that reaches beyond limitations to show the human heart of its characters. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
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  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, man, this book hit me right in the feels in every way. Kudos to Jamie Sumner for writing what is basically a perfect middle grade novel. I think this does a beautiful job of pointing out to children that people with disabilities are people first, with their own personalities that have nothing to do with their disability. I also think she did a nice job of portraying what it’s like to have a loved one diagnosed with dementia. It’s scary and heartbreaking for everyone. I have been lucky enough Oh, man, this book hit me right in the feels in every way. Kudos to Jamie Sumner for writing what is basically a perfect middle grade novel. I think this does a beautiful job of pointing out to children that people with disabilities are people first, with their own personalities that have nothing to do with their disability. I also think she did a nice job of portraying what it’s like to have a loved one diagnosed with dementia. It’s scary and heartbreaking for everyone. I have been lucky enough to work closely with a child with CP for a little over a year now, and I recently lost my grandmother to dementia. I’m not a 12 year old anymore, but I felt this novel deeply. Absolutely stunning.
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  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.Ellie and her mom plan to visit her grandparents during the Christmas holidays, but after her grandpa gets in an accident, they decide to stay for the next school term to help her grandparents out. It's always hard to be the new kid, especially partway through the year, but it's even more challenging because Ellie has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. Ellie is befriended by Coralee and Bert, and quickly Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.Ellie and her mom plan to visit her grandparents during the Christmas holidays, but after her grandpa gets in an accident, they decide to stay for the next school term to help her grandparents out. It's always hard to be the new kid, especially partway through the year, but it's even more challenging because Ellie has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. Ellie is befriended by Coralee and Bert, and quickly discovers that change and challenges might be worth it when friendship is on the line.I love books where grandparents play an integral role in the story, and watching Ellie interact with them, especially as her grandpa's Alzheimer's advances, was so heartwarming. I loved the friendship that develops between Ellie, Coralee and Bert, and how they form a special relationship that accepts each other for who they are. I loved seeing a character with cerebral palsy presented in such a positive light. The reality of her limitations were clear, but her strengths (Ellie is an amazing baker and extremely knowledgeable in the kitchen) presented a message that she was extremely capable and defied the stereotypes about someone who uses a wheelchair.I will definitely be adding this book to my library's collection.
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  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful book! I laughed out loud several times and smiled most of the book as I read it. The main character, Ellie, is very smart, sassy, talented & spunky. She gives a fun, wonderful, smart and insightful voice to all children living with disabilities and cerebral palsy (CP) in particular. She helps the reader see things from their perspective. She gives all of us a much needed lesson or reminder that people living with disabilities are more than their diagnosis, condition and all What a wonderful book! I laughed out loud several times and smiled most of the book as I read it. The main character, Ellie, is very smart, sassy, talented & spunky. She gives a fun, wonderful, smart and insightful voice to all children living with disabilities and cerebral palsy (CP) in particular. She helps the reader see things from their perspective. She gives all of us a much needed lesson or reminder that people living with disabilities are more than their diagnosis, condition and all of its symptoms. They are people first with all of the same emotions, questions and life experiences that everyone has as we proceed through life. She’s a middle school girl whose life is complicated by living with CP, moving to a new school in a new town and living in a trailer park. She takes everything in stride and teaches all of us a great lesson in how to roll with the punches that life throws at you and make the most out of our interests, skills and abilities. She uses her love for baking and new friends she makes to realize that sometimes life gives us all that need to be happy where we are. We can all learn a lot from Ellie in this book and the other cast of great characters and settings. 👍👍
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  • Elise
    January 1, 1970
    DNF for Roll with It. I could not take any more of Ellie's self-deprecating narration--she constantly calls herself "cripple" and "ugly", and says that her body is useless and that there's no way any boy would find her attractive. (Also, hello, heteronormativity, not pleased to meet you!) No one calls Ellie out on all this. Apparently Sumner is the mother of a kid with cerebral palsy, and if this is the way she thinks, I feel bad for the kid. Yes, internalized ableism is sadly a thing, but this DNF for Roll with It. I could not take any more of Ellie's self-deprecating narration--she constantly calls herself "cripple" and "ugly", and says that her body is useless and that there's no way any boy would find her attractive. (Also, hello, heteronormativity, not pleased to meet you!) No one calls Ellie out on all this. Apparently Sumner is the mother of a kid with cerebral palsy, and if this is the way she thinks, I feel bad for the kid. Yes, internalized ableism is sadly a thing, but this was really excessive, and as far as I read there was no hint of Ellie learning not to think this way about herself. When another character, Bert, was introduced--clearly autistic, but portrayed in an extremely stereotypical, one-dimensional, offensive way and with Sumner portraying his traits as creepy and the butt of jokes--I was done with this. Disabled kids deserve better mirrors, and non-disabled kids need clearer windows.Also, what is up with RJ Palacio blurbing so many middle grade books? How much is she getting paid for this? Wonder has some serious ableism issues of its own, so honestly her endorsement does the opposite of convince me to try a book.
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  • Steph
    January 1, 1970
    This fall I had the pleasure of listening to Donalyn Miller speak about classroom libraries, and one of my biggest takeaways was how important a diverse collection is - but to remember that diversity in characters isn’t just about race or ethnicity. Does the collection feature characters who wear glasses? Have one arm? Are in wheelchairs?What an eye opener! So I’ve been looking for books to add to our library collection and this book is not only wonderfully done - featuring a character with This fall I had the pleasure of listening to Donalyn Miller speak about classroom libraries, and one of my biggest takeaways was how important a diverse collection is - but to remember that diversity in characters isn’t just about race or ethnicity. Does the collection feature characters who wear glasses? Have one arm? Are in wheelchairs?What an eye opener! So I’ve been looking for books to add to our library collection and this book is not only wonderfully done - featuring a character with cerebral palsy who is in a wheelchair - but it’s side stories about a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, divorced parents, moving, changing friendships, feeling lonely... those are all relatable topics for any kid. And maybe they’ll be able to look at this book and see themselves in Ellie- and, after all, isn’t that exactly the point?- - - “Doctor. We are all of us deteriorating,” she says, and opens the door. “We might as well do it together.”
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  • Karen McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    With an intriguing cast of lovable and quirky characters, complex family dynamics, and a spunky protagonist to root for, I enjoyed every minute of this book. I love that getting to know Ellie means having a glimpse of what life in a wheelchair and/or with cerebral palsy, but Ellie's life is also about so much more than her disease. I loved that Ellie has a passion for baking, and reading made me want to whip up a batch of biscuits (which I did). The ending took me a bit by surprise but in a good With an intriguing cast of lovable and quirky characters, complex family dynamics, and a spunky protagonist to root for, I enjoyed every minute of this book. I love that getting to know Ellie means having a glimpse of what life in a wheelchair and/or with cerebral palsy, but Ellie's life is also about so much more than her disease. I loved that Ellie has a passion for baking, and reading made me want to whip up a batch of biscuits (which I did). The ending took me a bit by surprise but in a good way. For a plot that is more character driven, the ending definitely packs a punch. I also felt that Sumner could teach a master class in moving a plot along quickly and only focusing on the most important scenes. I definitely want to use this as a mentor text with my students. I think this is the perfect middle grade book for 4th-8th grade. #LitReviewCrew
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  • Chris Baron
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve had the pleasure of reading an Advanced Reader Copy of ROLL WITH IT. I love this book. Ellie is an amazing character bound to her Wheel chair due to cerebral palsy—but this doesn’t stop her from dealing with all the issues of any 12 YO. She’s a character with heart, grit, a love of baking, and a great sense of humor. Ellie is full of life, and this is what I enjoyed most about the book. So many kids this age deal with “real” issues and in ROLL WITH IT we find delightful characters in a I’ve had the pleasure of reading an Advanced Reader Copy of ROLL WITH IT. I love this book. Ellie is an amazing character bound to her Wheel chair due to cerebral palsy—but this doesn’t stop her from dealing with all the issues of any 12 YO. She’s a character with heart, grit, a love of baking, and a great sense of humor. Ellie is full of life, and this is what I enjoyed most about the book. So many kids this age deal with “real” issues and in ROLL WITH IT we find delightful characters in a story full of twists and turns that don’t shy away when things are tough. It’s a book that will engage young readers all the way through. I also want to note that the writing is energetic, fresh and thoroughly engaging. We loved it as a family.
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