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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Introverted Bicycle has lived most of her life at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C. When her guardian, Sister Wanda, announces that Bicycle is going to attend a camp where she will learn to make friends, Bicycle says no way and sets off on her bike for San Francisco to meet her idol, a famous cyclist, certain he will be her first true friend. Who knew that a ghost would haunt her han…

Overall Book Review:

Bicycle is twelve-years-old and she narrates this story for us.  As an orphan, raised by a retired Nun and several Nearly Silent Monks, Bicycle lives a unique life, and Sister Wanda wants more for her than just going through life alone and mostly silent.  In an attempt to fix things, Sister Wanda has plans that Bicycle isn’t too fond of so she takes off on the journey of a life time.  Being brave, Bicycle takes a big chance.  As she starts her journey across the United States, Bicycle also embarks on the journey of making friends.  She discovers that one huge step in making friends is to listen.  Another earth shattering discovery is that friends don’t always look like she would expect and they pop up in the oddest of places. 

The author, Christina Uss, has painted a very real picture describing Bicycle’s journey from Washington D.C. to San Francisco.  In the theater of my mind I could see the waving sunflower fields in the Midwest, feel the heat from the blistering sun beating down in Nevada, and hear the spinning of her wheels as she flew by mile by mile.  It was easy to become immersed in Bicycle’s world.  As a parent, I was happy to see that there were some consequences to Bicycle deciding to take a journey on her own. 

This book would be a great read for middle readers who enjoy a daring and adventurous story.  Thoroughly enjoyable, with perfect pacing, this might even be a great read aloud for families.  The author’s use of language and vocabulary, while making it understandable for younger readers, is beautifully balanced.  Perhaps “Go west young man” should have been “Go west young lady.”  I would highly recommend this book to young and old readers alike.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Girl chased by scary dogs; girl almost run over unintentionally by runaway animals, knocked out, no permanent injuries; woman pelted with tomatoes; scary woman chases girl.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Abandoned child, runaway child, friendly ghost.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)