The last book that I read for the Cracking the Hub Challenge was The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna which was a 2013 Printz Honor Book.
The White Bicycle is the story of Taylor who is in France for the summer as a personal care assistant to the son of her mother’s boyfriend. Taylor is concerned that her mother and her boyfriend might get married during the summer which would leave a gaping hole in her resume. She couldn’t after all put “personal care assistant” on her resume if she was taking care of a relative.
Taylor has a condition on the Autism Spectrum, and has had a difficult time going through school. Now she has friends and wants to become independent – the real reason the state of her resume is of such concern for her. In many ways the summer is a time where Taylor asserts her independence from her mother and starts to make decisions about her identity and what she wants to do with her life. This book is emotionally affecting and a wonderful read. The cover does connect to the storyline but seems rather dull and washed out, so look past the cover and enjoy the splendid writing and identify with your own search for independence from your parents.
After three and a half months of furiously reading and writing I am proud to say I cracked The Hub Challenge. I read outside of my usual interests and was able to find some unexpected favorites (Bernadette, One Shot at Forever, Dodger, The White Bicycle, Bomb, The Running Dream), a few books that I just didn’t really enjoy (Pure, Daredevil), and some books that although they weren’t comfortable reads, I doubt I’ll forget them (Girlchild, Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am, Stargazing Dog).
I was even able to write a reader’s response to one of the books (Dodger) and post it on The Hub blog.
When I took some of these books to Madison and Denny Middle Schools, the absolute teen favorite was Ultimate Comics Spiderman. I couldn’t even keep an eye on the book because a teen would snatch it up and read it immediately. In all, I’m happy that I took The Hub Challenge, and I’m really glad I was able to read 25 of the books before the challenge’s end.
What do you think – should I take this challenge again next year?
You can find the list of all 25 books I read for the challenge, on our catalog.