Today our guest is multiple award-winning, and New York Times bestselling, graphic novelist Victoria Jamieson.
Beginning with her illustrated book SUPER COW in the third grade, Jamieson aspired to work as an animator. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a focus in illustration, her career path involved art and design work. But her life path involved being a roller derby player for the Rose City Rollers in Portland, Oregon. Jamieson merged these work and life experiences to create her 2015 graphic novel, Roller Girl. It went on to be a New York Times best seller, a Newbery Honor book, and an inspiration to thousands of novice skaters wanting to sport a Jammer star.
Roller Girl was followed by All’s Faire in Middle School, two shorter graphic novels in her Pets on the Loose series, and the picture books Olympig!, Pest in Show, and Bea Rocks the Flock.
Her most recent release is When Stars Are Scattered, which was done in collaboration with Omar Mohamed, the founder of Refugee Strong, a non-profit that empowers refugee students. Illustrated by Jamieson, the graphic novel is the true story of Mohamed’s childhood in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. It was a National Book Award finalist in 2020.
The magic of graphic novels is how completely the reader enters the world of the characters. Jamieson is especially talented at the emotional journeys her characters take. She is fearless in exploring the difficulty of going to a new school, getting in a fight with your friends, being bullied, a family argument, or in the case of her recent collaboration, the pain of uncertainty as refugees wait for change. These are difficult topics, but Jamieson weaves hope into everything she writes and draws, inspiring her readers to face these difficulties and become stronger in the process.