Shred Girls: Lind­say’s Joy Ride

writ­ten by Molly Hur­ford re­viewed by Matthew Pioro

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - BOOKS & FILMS -

The best fic­tion fea­tur­ing bikes is of­ten about more than just bikes. Take the film Breaking­away, for ex­am­ple. Char­ac­ter Dave Stoller’s ob­ses­sion with cy­cling and Italy doesn’t just al­low di­rec­tor Peter Yates to ex­plore the sport, but ideas of iden­tity and grow­ing up. The movie also looks at class dy­nam­ics in a small town. Most im­por­tant, it’s a fun and en­dear­ing story. Molly Hur­ford’s Shred­girls:l ind­say’sjoyride also has bikes within a fun and en­dear­ing story. It cen­tres on Lind­say, a shy pre­teen book­worm ob­sessed with su­per­heroes. She spends a sum­mer with her older, cooler cousin Phoebe. Phoebe works and rides at the Joyride in­door bike park north of Toronto. She was also a shy, book­ish kid, who has some plans to help Lind­say gain more self-con­fi­dence. Those plans, of course, in­volve get­ting a lit­tle rad on a bmx bike.

Hur­ford has de­scribed Shred­girls as The­baby-sit­ters Club with bikes, a ref­er­ence that only partly res­onates with me. My younger sis­ter read The­baby-sit­ter­sclub, while I stuck with more mas­cu­line se­ries, such as the Hardy­boys and the Three­in­ves­ti­ga­tors. Still, I was stoked, yes, stoked to delve into Shred­girls, hop­ing it would be some­thing I could rec­om­mend to or read to my daugh­ter when she’s old enough. Now, I plan to do just that. Still, I wouldn’t hes­i­tate to rec­om­mend the book to a young boy. Rid­ing is rid­ing. Strug­gling with learn­ing who you are and mak­ing friends are univer­sal. The only sec­tions that might drag for a boy are the bits about who’s wear­ing what and how good an out­fit looks. But, I do know mid­dle-age men who take great pains to match their socks, of just the right length, to their kit.

Like The-baby-sit­ters-club, Shred­girls is a se­ries. Lind­say’s joy ride (which will be re-re­leased early next year) marks only the first ad­ven­ture fea­tur­ing the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter and her friends. The Baby-sit­ters se­ries ran for 14 years. In that time, 213 nov­els were pub­lished and 176 mil­lion copies were printed. If the same hap­pens to Shred Girls, that would be rad.

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