The red bicycle : the extraordinary story of one ordinary bicycle (CitizenKid) (#0632ZT9)

by Isabella, Jude; illustrated by Shin, Simone

9 reviews & awards | 7 full-text reviews

Hardcover Kids Can Press, 2015
Price: USD 17.53
Description: 32 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm.
Dewey: -E-; Audience: Upper Elementary; Reading Level: 4.0
AR 4 LG .5 182171EN; RC 5.3 3; LEX 800L
From the publisher: Grades 3-7; Ages 8-12
From Booklist: Grades 3-6; Kirkus: Ages 8-10; PW: Ages 8-12; SLJ: Gr 3-6; read the full-text reviews


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About This Set

CitzenKid is a collection of books that informs children about the world and inspires them to be better global citizens. The collection aims to make complex global issues accessible for children ages 8 to 12, and covers topics such as water conservation, biodiversity, food security, micro lending, citizenship, global awareness and more. Each book provides information and resources to inspire children to make a difference, both locally and globally.

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From Follett

Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-31). When Leo outgrows his red bicycle, he sends it to Burkina Faso, where it starts a journey through many hands and has many uses. Includes information about how to get involved in bicycle donation efforts.

From the Publisher
In this unique nonfiction picture book, the main character is a bicycle that starts its life like so many bicycles in North America, being owned and ridden by a young boy. The boy, Leo, treasures his bicycle so much he gives it a name --- Big Red. But eventually Leo outgrows Big Red, and this is where the bicycle's story takes a turn from the everyday, because Leo decides to donate it to an organization that ships bicycles to Africa. Big Red is sent to Burkina Faso, in West Africa, where it finds a home with Alisetta, who uses it to gain quicker access to her family's sorghum field and to the market. Then, over time, it finds its way to a young woman named Haridata, who has a new purpose for the bicycle --- renamed Le Grand Rouge --- delivering medications and bringing sick people to the hospital.

This book makes an excellent choice for cultural studies classes; author Jude Isabella has provided several terrific suggestions in the back of the book for projects large and small, while a map shows the distance the bicycle traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. Award-winning illustrator Simone Shin's digitally composed artwork includes evocative depictions of Alisetta's and Haridata's communities in rural Africa, creating vivid comparisons between Leo's life and their lives. Youngsters will learn how different the world is for those who rely on bicycles as a mode of transportation, and how one ordinary bicycle --- and a child's desire to make a difference --- can change lives across the world. This book also offers an excellent opportunity for expanding character education lessons on caring, compassion and empathy to include the wider world.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Series: CitizenKid
  • Dewey: -E-
  • Classifications: Fiction, Easy
  • Description: 32 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm.
  • Tracings: Shin, Simone, illustrator.
  • ISBN-10: 1-77138-023-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-77138-023-2
  • LCCN: 2014-903474
  • Follett Number: 0632ZT9
  • Reading Level: 4.0
  • Audience: Upper Elementary
  • Grades: 3-7
  • Ages: 8-12
  • Booklist: Grades 3-6
  • Kirkus: Ages 8-10
  • Publishers Weekly: Ages 8-12
  • School Library Journal: Gr 3-6
  • ATOS Book Level: 4
  • AR Interest Level: LG
  • AR Points: .5
  • AR Quiz: 182171EN
  • Reading Counts Level: 5.3
  • Reading Counts Points: 3
  • Lexile: 800L

Reviews & Awards
  • Booklist, 02/15/15
  • Christian Library Journal, 11/01/15
  • Horn Book Guide, 10/01/15
  • Horn Book Magazine, 05/01/15
  • Library Media Connection, 12/01/15
  • New York Times, 05/10/15
  • Publishers Weekly, 01/26/15
  • Resource Links, 06/01/15
  • School Library Journal, 03/01/15

Full-Text Reviews
Booklist (February 15, 2015 (Vol. 111, No. 12))
Grades 3-6. Leo, a North American boy, saves his money to buy a bicycle, which he names Big Red. When he has outgrown it, he donates it to an organization that sends bikes to African countries. Alisetta, an orphan in Burkina Faso who lives with her grandmother, chooses Big Red as her bicycle and uses it to earn money to send her brother and sister to school. Later, a medical clinic buys it and, adding a canopied trailer, transforms it into an ambulance. Haridata rides Big Red to nearby villages, providing medical care and occasionally carrying a patient back to the clinic. Each segment of Big Red’s journey has characters and details that make it distinct and interesting, but the book also succeeds in encouraging reuse and increasing global awareness. Shin’s illustrations use texture and layering to good effect. In one image, a pale world map provides the backdrop for a scene that simultaneously shows the route of Big Red’s journey and a street scene in Africa. A fine addition to the CitizenKid series.

Read all 7 full-text reviews …

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