The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

Christina Uss, illus. by Jonathan Bean. Holiday House/Ferguson, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4007-8
When a three-year-old girl in a faded pink t-shirt with the word bicycle on it shows up at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C., Sister Wanda takes her in. The girl’s fondness for the word leads Sister Wanda to give her the unusual moniker for a name, and Bicycle eventually acquires a bike of her own, a hefty orange number named Clunk. When Bicycle is 12, Sister Wanda worries about her lack of friends and arranges to send her to sleepaway camp at the Friendship Factory (“Three Guaranteed Friendships or Your Money Back”). Bicycle refuses and takes to the road with Clunk instead, mapping a route to San Francisco to meet her hero, Polish cycling racer Zbig, at the Blessing of the Bicycles. Along the way, she picks up a talkative ghost, procures a bike that can launch missiles and write, and flees from a woman in black. She also cultivates friend after friend, one mile at a time, as the story elegantly blends elements of mystery, adventure, and fantasy. Debut author Uss, a long-distance cyclist herself, effectively portrays the call—and toll—of self-reliance and the open road, and fashions a resolute heroine to root for. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-374-30714-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63923-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-8234-4573-8
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