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3 indie books that celebrate kids and bikes

Updated: Apr 16

kids books about bicycles

Bike riding is a rite of passage for many kids. After all, nearly everyone remembers the first time they were able to balance themselves on a bicycle without any assistance. It’s no wonder, then, that two-wheeled adventures feature in a great many works for young readers. Here are three such books, all recommended by Kirkus Indie.

Douglas L. Hoover’s The Dirt Bike Detective: The Beast in the Shadows (2023) continues a middle-grade series about tween amateur detective Oliver Teller and his crew of bike-riding sleuths who specialize in mysteries with possibly paranormal aspects. Oliver, on his “baby-blue ten-speed,” and his cohort ride all over town during investigations into a missing pizza and a badly injured man discovered by local hikers. Our reviewer calls this Kirkus-starred novel a “crafty, energetic sequel.”

In the picture book Ellery’s Magic Bicycle (2022), written by Maria Monte and illustrated by Zoe Saunders, a girl finds an abandoned purple bike that comes to life, teaches the girl how to ride it, and becomes her good friend. Ellery and the bicycle have many adventures during the girl’s childhood and teen years, and the bike’s own story continues happily after Ellery is all grown up. Kirkus’ review highlights the work’s “tenderness” and “gentle message about loyal friendship.”

At the beginning of Heather S. Lonczak’s Fletcher and the Fledgling (2020), a picture book with images by Dusica Dimitrovska, a young boy is supported by his family as he’s about to take his first bike ride without training wheels. A motorcycle roars by, startling nearby crows, but before long, a young bird is gliding next to Fletcher as he pedals down the street, making the youngster feel like they’re both in flight. It’s “an uplifting tale of triumph,” our reviewer notes, “likely to encourage struggling young bicyclists to take off soaring.”

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