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The Big Bike Race Paperback – April 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380728303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380728305
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,799,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5?In eight fast-paced chapters, Bledsoe tells the story of an African American boy growing up with his practical grandmother and pest of a little sister in Washington, D.C. Since Ernie is turning 10 and is on his way to becoming someone, he feels it's more appropriate that he be called Ernest. Grandmother, who's holding the family together on a "no frills" budget since the children's parents were killed in a car accident, feels Ernie's dreams are merely "delusions of grandeur." Ernest longs for a racing bike for his birthday, but is disappointed and embarrassed by the "huge, clunky, yellow" secondhand one Grandmother is able to afford. Nevertheless, he rides it, and on his first outing meets Sonny, a racer who's never taken first place. Ernie is persistent in persuading Sonny to help him train for the prestigious Citywide Cup juniors race. He garners the respect of his friends as he doggedly trains, and at the same time builds Sonny's self-confidence. Bledsoe blends her intricate knowledge of training and racing into the story as she allows readers to see Ernie's high and low points, concentrating on his upbeat and determined moods. This book would pair well with Cheryl Zach's Benny and the Crazy Contest (Bradbury, 1991).?Christina Dorr, Calcium Primary School, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2^-4. Ernie's dreams of getting a sleek silver racing bike for his tenth birthday are shattered when he receives a clunky yellow secondhand bike instead. Knowing that its purchase was quite a financial sacrifice for his grandmother, who is raising him, Ernie ignores the laughter of the other kids and sets his sights on winning the junior division of the Citywide Cup. An avid cyclist herself, Bledsoe presents detailed descriptions of the rigorous training process and several bike races. The climactic Citywide Cup race is not as exciting as it might have been. Nevertheless, a strong, dignified portrayal of a loving African American family persevering despite the poverty around them is something not seen enough in mainstream children's literature. Illustrations for this chapter book were not available in galley. Lauren Peterson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of many novels, including the Spring 2010 "The Big Bang Symphony: a novel of Antarctica." She loves good food, wilderness, friends, and all felines and sea mammals. She's been to Antarctica three time and stayed in all three American stations, as well as in field camps where scientists are studying penguins, the Big Bang, and climate change. She believes novels should engage the mind and the heart.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Big Bike Race by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

In The Big Bike Race the main characters are Sonny, Ernest, Melissa and Grandma. His Grandma has raised Ernest and his sister, Melissa since the death of their parents. Ernest wanted a sleek bike for his tenth birthday. Instead he gets a chunky yellow one with streamers and baskets hanging off. Since his family is poor he wasn't too sad when he got a bad bike.
He thought if he won the junior division of the Citywide Cup he would win the new sleek bike. Then he met a professional racer named Sonny. Sonny, his coach, taught Ernest to be a good bike racer. Sonny said that it's better to have a great body and a bad bike instead of the other way around.
The Citywide Cup took place in Washington D.C. Ernest was really good but his bike was too heavy so he finished in thirteenth place. This is amazing because he only got about a month to train. Ernest got lucky because he was friends with Sonny , who won the race and got the new bike. He gets Sonny's old bike which is better than his yellow clunker.
I think Ernest will win his next race because he has a good body and a good bike now.
I liked this book because it shows you don't have to do everything without help.Ernest didn't give up when he lost the bike race. His friendship with Sonny taught him how to be a good bike racer and helped him earn a new bike.This book is good because it presents a believable story. So bike on down to your closest library and get this book!
Reviewed by Eli (8 years old)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is about a boy named Ernie who dreams of being a bike racer, but is poor. He gets a secondhand yellow clunker, not a racing bike, but he learns that your determination speeds you up more than your bike.
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