Roll with It Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
"A big-hearted story that’s as sweet as it is awesome." (R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder)
“An honest, emotionally rich take on disability, family, and growing up.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
In the tradition of Wonder and Out of My Mind, 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!
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|Listening Length||4 hours and 30 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 01, 2019|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #96,427 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#609 in Children's Books on Disabilities
#611 in Family Life Fiction for Children
#1,334 in Children's Multigenerational Family Life
Top reviews from the United States
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So that being said, do you ever have those moments where you choose a book for one reason or another, only to realize later that the book was a blessing sent from above? That it speaks to you in such a visceral level that you wouldn’t have believed it if someone told you how different you would be after reading it? Well friends I am here to say that has happened to me. My daughter and I both read the book, her for the assignment and me bc I like to read and wanted to be able to know the story in case she needed help.
This book spoke to me on a very basic, emotional level. All the fears, anxiety, hope and love I had for my brother, who has been passed away for many years now, came rushing back. I found myself caring for Ellie as I did for Jeffrey. Rooting for her to succeed, her desire for independence though baking, her fears for her grandfather, and also for herself….her sense of belonging through new friendships, all of it. Just so many feels, presented in a non-preachy, upbeat, very funny and realistic way. This book, while sad at times, is a story that anyone who feels sorry for themselves needs to read. This spunky, non-quitting, pre-teen is the kind of person so many folks could use in their life, even if only for a little while and through the written word. She doesn’t quit, keeps going when things are tough and is a devoted daughter, granddaughter and friend. Her attitude is to never quit but doesn’t deny her emotions and feelings either. Just a very funny, realistic and ultimately hopeful story.
If you have a child, a student or just some smart-a$$ kid who needs a reality check, let them read this book. It is uplifting and demonstrates the power of positive thinking and action even when times are tough. I just can’t recommend this one enough. So glad I read this, what a great blessing for me and for my kiddo!
I also loved that there is a thread of leaning into what makes you unique: for Ellie, it’s her baking skills; for her friends, singing, knowing facts, and building. I like that kids this age can be told that what they love is important!
The only section that caused me pause and is worth noting is a scene where Ellie and her friend are talking and her friend mentions that they are a “tribe.” When Ellie says that she doesn’t understand - she thinks of the word tribe referring to Native American tribes - her friend corrects her, whitewashing the term and applying it to any group of friends. In the US, this is a big deal as Native Americans have been telling anyone who will listen that the broad use of the word is hurtful. Since this book featured an all-white cast and using the term that way goes un-challenged in the book, I thought it was worth mentioning. And when read by kids, discussed.
Ellie’s complex relationships with her family, her friends, and her own health provide the backdrop for a really great character arc.
I'm mostly disappointed that when I look through the reviews, nobody seems to notice the central flaw to the story--Ellie is a bold, articulate, sassy, interesting, socially competent kid... who's never had a friend before? That's not even a little bit realistic. Kids in wheelchairs have friends. Other kids are weirded out by the chair for like 10 seconds, and then they're over it and ready to play. We're supposed to believe that Ellie's gone to school with the same peers her entire life, and they never acclimated to the chair? There's nothing about Ellie's personality or mannerism that would scare off potential friends. The idea that a kid in a wheelchair would be a social pariah is a premise based on ableism. It makes me sad that everyone accepts it without question.
The author is a talented writer with an engaging voice and she creates fun characters. But the world needs disabled people telling disabled stories. We don't need more parents speaking on our behalf.
(Oh, and the part about "tribes" was super problematic. The correct use of the word was treated as a joke, while the racist use was normalized.... Maybe the author is a naive white woman who doesn't know any better, but that got past an entire publishing house??)
As a mother of a child with a disability I was smitten with the main character, Ellie, from the beginning. I loved her sense of humor and determination- not to mention the fact she is a fellow foodie. What I wasn’t expecting was to love every other of the Cowan family just as much.
This book tackles tough subjects for kids in a way that makes them relatable and even laughable.
Representation and inclusion in print is so important. Roll With It should be in every library. It brings much needed awareness to the young disabled community and shows us that with good friends and family life can be pretty sweet.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on April 20, 2022