The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Publication Date: First Published in 1965 This edition by Harper Trophy in 2000
Recommended Age Group: Ages 10 and up
Summary: The Mouse and the Motorcycle is about a mouse named Ralph who lives in a hotel in California with his family. They enjoy messy people because they leave crumbs and food for him and his family to eat. Ralph is an adventurous mouse who wants to go out and see his world, the hotel, but he can’t because he is kept in check by the housekeepers who want to keep the place clean and mice free. Then Keith and his family arrive. Keith has many fun toys but most importantly he has a motorcycle, beautiful shiny and red. When Keith and his family step out of the room Ralph goes to see this motorcycle and take a look to see if Keith left any food behind. When he comes up to the motorcycle he notices that it is the perfect size for him and while trying to ride it he falls off the table where it was and lands in a garbage can. He was afraid because he didn’t want to get thrown out with the trash and he didn’t want someone who didn’t like mice to find him there. Luckily Keith comes back and finds him there and likes mice. He even teaches him how to ride his motorcycle and lets Ralph ride around in it at night. Then the crisis comes, Keith and his family are out for the day and Ralph wants to ride the motorcycle, he almost gets sucked into the vacuum and ends up riding into a bunch of sheets that he later has to chew his way out of and leave the motorcycle behind. The hotel finds they have mice and the maids are to keep an extra close watch and try to get rid of any mice they see. Thus Ralph and his family are forced into hiding but lucky for them Keith brings them food. One night Keith gets sick and needs an aspirin and his parents can’t find one. So Ralph goes on a mission to find the aspirin and almost gets caught several times. In the end he uses Keith’s toy Ambulance to get him to the elevator and down to the first floor to pick up the aspirin he found there and to bring it back. Ralph saves the day and in the end he gets to keep Keith’s motorcycle forever.
Personal Notes: This was a really fun and easy book to read. It was at a lower level than some of the other things I have read but not all kids of one age group are at the same level so I think it is good to have some that are for the lower level kids that are still fun to read. I enjoyed it also because of the lessons it teaches. It teaches respect for others and also that we should do what we can to repay the kindness that other show us.