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Bruised (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

After losing both her parents in a car accident, everyone wants Daya to talk through her feelings, but she would much rather trade her emotional pain for physical pain. When a friend introduces her to roller derby, Daya believes she found the perfect place for her. Bruised surprised me in all the best ways. It's main focus is on grief and how that journey of overcoming trauma and loss looks different for everyone. I love, love, love the characters, too, especially Shanti. I so wish I could meet them all in real life. I definitely picked up this book for the roller derby aspect, but fell in love with the many other layers of the story that handles discussions on grief, family, identity and strength in such a wonderfully relatable way. 

— Becky


Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.

So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.

The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.

About the Author

Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). She believes feminism, diversity, committed educators, sassy students, and hot mugs of tea will save the day. She is also grateful for her patient wife who builds her many bookshelves! Tanya may have been a drag king in her well-spent youth and knows that the queer community is full of magic and wonder. With her books, she hopes she’s brought some of that magic to those who need it most.

Praise For…

A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Boteju writes with acumen about the roller-coaster ride of being a teenager. . . . A searing portrait of self-discovery; soulful and captivating.” Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781534455023
ISBN-10: 1534455027
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2021
Pages: 336
Language: English