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During the summer, I'm sure you are all looking for new summer reads. May I suggest The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, a unique book that will keep you reading for hours straight. It sure did for me!

The book is about a girl (as you may have guessed) named Bicycle. She has lived at the Mostly Silent Monastery for most of her life, a place where near silence is the norm. Bicycle has no friends because she isn't used to how loud other kids are. Sister Wanda, Bicycle's official guardian, decides to send her to The Friendship Factory, a camp in Nevada that guarantees she'll make three friends. But Bicycle has other ideas. On her bike, Clunk, she sets out across the country to cover the 4,000 miles from Washington D.C. to California in order to meet her idol, a famous bicyclist she's hoping will become her friend. Along the way, Bicycle will encounter a bike burglar, a Civil War ghost, a French restaurateur, a ghost town, a bike-crazy horse and 838 pigs.

A central theme of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle is perseverance. Even when she's faced with difficulties and problems and exhausting miles, Bicycle keeps working towards her goal. In Virginia, she rides up hill after hill after enormous hill. She bikes through the Rocky Mountains. She even treks for hours and hours through a sunflower field. Bicycle stays on a strict 50-mile-a-day schedule for weeks on end, for thousands of miles. You have to work hard to in order to reach your goals, and this book is an excellent reminder of that.

Another theme is the importance of friendship. Bicycle sets out on her epic quest in the hopes of making one single friend, but along the way, she makes a lot more friends than she expected, like Griffin, Estrella, Jeremiah, Chef Marie, the Cookie Lady.... I could go on and on. Bicycle's life is made so much better because of the friendships she develops. Another point the book makes is that friendship can't be forced. You can make friends unexpectedly and in the unlikeliest of places.

I loved all the zany adventures Bicycle has on her trip across the U.S. Few of us have been run over by a parade of pigs, or biked over the Rockies, or won a missile-launching bike at an auction, or accidentally wandered into the Kentucky Derby. Reading this book made me want to take a road trip, and any book that makes you want to go have an adventure is a good book! You will definitely love The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, so ride your bike to the library immediately!

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss. Margaret Ferguson Books, 2018. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!

Have you read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? Let us know in the comments below!

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