Thanks for stopping by! I’m delighted to be sharing my review for The Big Ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke as part of the blog tour today. With thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for the invite to join the tour and to the author for my copy. First things first let’s take a look at the description for the book…
Big things are happening in Little Springs…
Everything about Oliver is small, from his footprint to his glasses-and a trio of bullies never let him forget it. When Oliver receives his grandfather’s old bike for his birthday, he rides tall for the first time. But the meanest bully in school doesn’t like that at all. Oliver quickly finds himself challenged to a race. Now, he’ll have to be bigger than he ever imagined in order to prove heroes come in small packages too.
The Big Ol’ Bike is a contemporary slice of life for ages 7-10. It’s filled with characters who could live down the street from you, or have a locker beside yours at school. Come hang out with Oliver, Austin, and Sue, as they experience excitement, setbacks, and adventure together. Themes of bullying, family, friendship, confidence, and community are all explored.
Longer than average for this age range, The Big Ol’ Bike is meant to be transitional between chapter books and middle grade novels. It’s an equally perfect choice for eager readers who fly through the pages, and kids who enjoy taking it chapter by chapter.
WARNING: Reading this book may cause an immediate and urgent need to ride your bike. Do not be alarmed-the feeling will pass soon enough. But don’t let it.;)
In The Big Ol’ Bike we meet Oliver who doesn’t have it easy thanks to a trio of bullies. For Oliver’s birthday he is given his grandfather’s old bike. This bike is big, red and unique. So much more different to the more modern bikes that everyone rides. What follows is a warm and uplifting story that all ages are sure to relate to.
With me having two children under nine I thought this would be an ideal book to enjoy together. When we first picked up this book we were aiming to read one chapter a day. However there were plenty of moments where we were enjoying the story so much we often read more than a chapter. I thought the age range of 7-10 was about right. Both myself and my 8 year old son took turns reading. He isn’t necessarily the most confident reader but he tries so hard. I think he managed really well throughout the book and was able to read most of the vocabulary used. My six year old daughter also enjoyed listening to us take turns reading the story. So it really was a family thing!
The story isn’t overly long and my son’s interest was kept throughout which is always a bonus! I thought that showing the bullying of Oliver was something that could be used as a talking point with children. We were all able to discuss how Oliver felt and how we would feel in his place. The messages throughout were very important and added an extra special touch to the story. It was great to reinforce how we should talk to someone if we have any worries. Along with showing positive friendships and a lovely community spirit. The Big Ol’ Bike also reminded me of how happy I used to be riding my bike when I was little. Thinking about the simple fun of riding around either in my back garden or out with friends. The way time would blur and in no time at all the day would be over.
The Big Ol’ Bike is a charming and heartwarming tale about how being different, kind and unique is actually a pretty wonderful thing. That is definitely something all of us could take to heart!
About Rachael Clarke:
Rachael Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom living in Portage la Prairie, MB. She rides the twisty rollercoaster of life alongside her sport-obsessed husband, adorably mischievous boys, and two quirky dogs. Rachael likes to stay busy, constantly juggling writing projects from children’s books to novels. Besides writing and illustrating, she enjoys photography, the outdoors, acting, and sipping steaming cups of coffee. Oh, and cake—can’t forget cake.
Rachael also writes multi-genre short fiction under the pen name R.A. Clarke. Her work has been featured in various publications, and has won both Writer’s Weekly and Writer’s Games
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39at5DK
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3ojZs7v
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/366Com8
Published in paperback and digital formats on 8th January 2021