Kid Review: Joy Ride by Sherri Duskey Rinker

 

About This Book:

 

When a girl and her grandfather put their hearts into sprucing up an old bike by hand, neighborhood kids are less than kind in this tender story about bullying, peer pressure, and feeling the freedom to express yourself.

 

Needing something to fill up her summer days, Joy seeks out her granddad, who also likes to tinker, for something to do. Together they find the perfect project: sprucing up an old bike for Joy. From hardware stores to garage sales, the two find everything they need to transform this bike, little by little, into something that’s truly one of a kind. Ornamented with sparkles, a basket, and a brand-new bell, the bike is finally ready for Joy to ride it all over the neighborhood, filling the air with her own kind of music that exudes JOY.

But when a few kids take notice of Joy’s bike, and not in a good way, Joy makes an impulsive decision that ruins the dazzling bike she and Granddad worked so hard on. Joy realizes quickly, however, that trying to fit in can be boring, and it doesn’t make her feel JOY. Just maybe, with a heartfelt apology and Granddad’s help, she can get back on track to being true to herself. This touching story, told by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ana Ramírez González, addresses the moments of uncertainty when trying to fit in with the crowd, and exclaims the joyful exuberance of self-expression.

 

*Review Contributed By Bethany Wicker, Staff Reviewer*

 

Peer Pressure at its Best

 

Joy loves to tinker with things and fix them up, just like her Granddad. While searching for her next project with him, they discover an old, rusty bike that needs a lot of care. But nothing is too big of a job for Joy, and with the help of her Granddad, they put together the fanciest bike in existence. However, when Joy takes it out for a ride, she notices people laughing at her. This upsets her and makes her feel embarrassed about her bike, so she ditches it. Each time her Granddad asks about her bike, she feels bad for lying until it’s too much to handle.

JOY RIDE is more than just a story about a girl and her new bike. It’s a thought-provoking multi-generational tale that addresses sensitive topics like peer pressure and bullying. Joy has a unique bond with her grandfather and it’s obvious he knows she’s lying, but he allows her the space she needs to learn from the mistake of it. Joy’s experience teaches children the importance of being yourself, even though others may not always like it. The colors are vivid and I love how close Joy is to her grandfather.

Final Verdict: JOY RIDE is a great way to teach your children about bullying and being true to yourself. It’s sad how prevalent bullying is in schools and that this is a topic we even need to bring up. But Joy’s journey is an inspiring one as we watch her overcome challenges and learn that lying is wrong. The guilt will always win out in the end.

 

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