• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Also Available in Spanish

by Beverly Cleary (1965)

Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle is recommended as an easier, first-time book for newer One School, One Book members. For schools looking for a book with easier prose – a book that will go down easier with less confident or less accomplished at-home readers – The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a recommended title.

Written by the prolific Beverly Cleary – way back in 1965 – it tells the story of a lonely boy in a hotel and the intrepid mouse who makes full use of his toy motorcycle. Hijinks, drama, adventures ensue – but they are as simply and easily accessible to students now as they have been the in the decades past. Some tricks and techniques never fail – and Beverly Cleary has mastered them.

Children will be stimulated as they identify with two protagonists – the boy, Keith, trying to entertain himself while stuck in a motel – and the mouse, Ralph, who negotiates his realm both simply and fantastically.

Cleary is also a master of simple, yet effectively stimulating prose – especially when she describes how Ralph, the mouse, feels emotionally when he is contemplating or using or missing his motorcycle. It is here that a seemingly simple or even inconsequential story actually works its literary magic – imparting its literary gifts and charms – seamlessly and inconspicuously.

One of the goals of One School, One Book is to impart and develop what we call a “culture of literacy” – an environment that supports and encourages the habit of reading regularly and independently. To that end, Read to Them encourages families to explore the sequels and other work of authors featured by schools via One School, One Book. For families seeking to explore and augment that ‘culture of literacy’ Beverly Cleary has a corpus of 41 works that families and students can explore long after enjoying the simple pleasures of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

We recommend families interested in developing their shared reading habits start with the two sequels – Runaway Mouse (1970) and Ralph S. Mouse (1982).

There are five supplementary resources for Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle:

  • a sample letter home to parents
  • a 3-week reading schedule
  • a 63 question trivia bank
  • suggested assembly ideas
  • suggested activities

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

The sample documents are incomplete. They are designed to give you a quick peek at the documents for each title. For the complete and full versions of all documents, you must be a participating Read to Them school. Contact bruce.coffey@readtothem.org for more information.

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