Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2018 Gr 4–6—When she was just a young girl, Bicycle was found by Sister Wanda, a retired "Nearly Silent Nun," at the doors of the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C. Oddly, the only word the nuns and monks may use to communicate is sandwich. Now 12, Bicycle is a magnificent rider, hence her name. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to connect with other children and has no interest in making friends. Sister Wanda signs her up for a sleepaway camp called the Friendship Factory. Bicycle, however, has other plans. Deceiving Sister Wanda, she sets out on a cross-country ride to San Francisco, imagining she will meet and befriend bicycle-riding sensation, Zbig. Drawing on the author's own bicycle trip in 1996, Uss's debut novel uses a simple narrative that mixes realistic fiction with supernatural and farfetched fantastical elements. The well-organized chapters use a comfortable-sized font and a fluent storyline that moves the plot ahead. VERDICT Middle grade fans of realistic coming-of-age tales, especially those interested in cycling, will appreciate this unusual work of sports fiction.—Kathia Ibacache, Simi Valley Public Library, CA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2018 Uss uses her cross-country cycling experience as an inspiration for her pleasantly peculiar debut novel. Bicycle is perfectly content with her quiet, often solitary life at the Mostly Silent Monastery, where the monks only say eight words. But when her guardian Sister Wanda worries that Bicycle’s life is too solitary, and sends her to the Friendship Factory summer camp, Bicycle escapes on her beloved bike, traveling from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. Along the way, Bicycle befriends many colorful characters, including a Civil War ghost, a fried-pie entrepreneur, and the inventor of a sentient bike. Uss fills Bicycle’s journey west with authentic descriptions of American landmarks, deserts, sunflower fields, and mountains, which makes even the most fantastical elements of the story feel real. The humor and warmth of the strangers Bicycle meets along the way makes the long journey coast along at a quick pace. Readers who enjoy action and adventure with a dose of magic will happily go along for the ride. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.