The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

4.3 228
by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling, Tracy Dockray

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Ralph the mouse was terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle had taken a terrible fall - right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He was trapped, left to wait for whatever fate was in store for him.

But it turned out to be Ralph's lucky day. Along came Keith, the

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Ralph the mouse was terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle had taken a terrible fall - right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He was trapped, left to wait for whatever fate was in store for him.

But it turned out to be Ralph's lucky day. Along came Keith, the owner of the toy motorcycle, who was staying with his family in the hotel room where Ralph lives. Not only did Keith save Ralph's life, but he taught him how to ride the bike. And, when everyone was asleep, he turned Ralph loose in the hotel halls to enjoy the biking adventure of his life. But adventures can be both fun and Ralph and Keith soon find out!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn. Together they discover the joys of motorcycling. This story has been around for more than thirty years and has become a "classic" in children's literature. 1995 (orig.
Chicago Tribune
One might know that if Beverly Cleary were to invent a mouse, it would be a down-to-earth, boyish mouse with a proclivity for getting into scrapes. A good story!

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Mouse and the Motorcycle Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

Mouse and the Motorcycle, The AER

Chapter One

The New Guests

Keith, the boy in the rumpled shorts and shirt, did not know he was being watched as he entered room 215 of the Mountain View Inn. Neither did his mother and father, who both looked hot and tired. They had come from Ohio and for five days had driven across plains and deserts and over mountains to the old hotel in the California foothills twenty-five miles from Highway 40.

The fourth person entering room 215 may have known he was being watched, but he did not care. He was Matt, sixty if he was a day, who at the moment was the bellboy. Matt also replaced wornout light bulbs, renewed washers in leaky faucets, carried trays for people who telephoned room service to order food sent to their rooms, and sometimes prevented children from hitting one another with croquet mallets on the lawn behind the hotel.

Now Matt's right shoulder sagged with the weight of one of the bags he was carrying. "Here you are, Mr. Gridley. Rooms 215 and 216," he said, setting the smaller of the bags on a luggage rack at the foot of the double bed before be opened a door into the next room. I expect you and Mrs. Gridley will want room 216. It is a comer room with twin beds and a private bath." He carried the heavy bag into the next room where he could be heard opening windows. Outside a chipmunk chattered in a pine tree and a chickadee whistled fee-bee-bee.

The boy's mother looked critically around room 215 and whispered, I think we should drive back to the main highway. There must be a motel with a Vacancy sign someplace. We didn't look long enough. "

"Not another mile" answered thefather. "I'm not driving another mile on a California highway on a holiday weekend. Did you see the way that truck almost forced us off the road?"

"Dad, did you see those two fellows on motorcycles-" began the boy and stopped, realizing he should not interrupt an argument.

" But this place is so old," protested the boys mother. "And we have only three weeks for our whole trip. We had planned to spend the Fourth of July weekend in San Francisco and we wanted to show Keith as much of the United States as we could."

San Francisco will have to wait and this is part of the United States. Besides, this used to be a very fashionable hotel," said Mr. Gridley. "People came from miles around."

"Fifty years ago," said Mrs. Gridley. "And they came by horse and buggy."

The bellboy returned to room 215. "The dining room opens at six-thirty, sir. There is ping-pong in the game room, TV in the lobby, and croquet on the back lawn. I'm sure you will be very comfortable." Matt, who had seen guests come and go for many years, knew there were two kinds-those who thought the hotel was a dreadful old barn of a place and those who thought it charming and quaint, so quiet and restful.

" Of course we will be comfortable," said Mr. Gridley, dropping some coins into Matt's hand for carrying the bags.

"But this big old hotel is positively spooky." Mrs. Gridley made one last protest. "It is probably full Of mice."

Matt opened the window wide. "Mice? Oh no, ma I am. The management wouldn't stand for mice.

"I wouldn't mind a few mice," the boy said, as he looked around the room at the high ceiling, the knotty pine walls, the carpet so threadbare that many of its roses had almost entirely faded, the one chair with the antimacassar on its back, the washbasin and towel racks in the comer of the room. "I like it here," he announced.. "A whole room to myself. Usually I just get a cot in the comer of a motel room."

His mother smiled, relenting. Then she turned to Matt."I'm sorry. It's just that it was so hot crossing Nevada and we are not used to mountain driving. Back on the highway the traffic was bumper to bumper. I'm sure we shall be very comfortable."

After Matt bad gone, closing the door behind him, Mr. Gridley said, I need a rest before dinner. Four hundred miles of driving and that mountain traffic! It was too much."

"And if we are going to stay for a weekend I had better unpack," said Mrs. Gridley. "At least I'll have a chance to do some drip-drying"


Alone in room 215 and unaware that he was being watched, the boy began to explore. He got down on his hands and knees and looked under the bed. He leaned out the open window as far as he could and greedily inhaled deep breaths of pine-scented air. He turned the hot and cold water on and off in the washbasin and slipped one of the small bars of paper-wrapped soap into his pocket. Under the window he discovered a knothole in the pine wall down by the floor and squatting, poked his finger into the hole. When he felt nothing inside he lost interest.

Next Keith opened his suitcase and took out an apple and several small cars-a sedan, a sports car, and an ambulance about six inches long, and a red motorcycle half the length of the cars-which he dropped on the striped bedspread before he bit into the apple. He ate the apple noisily in big chomping bites, and then laid the core on the bedside table between the lamp and the telephone.

Keith began to play, running his cars up and down the bedspread, pretending that the stripes on the spread were highways and making noises with his mouth-vroom vroom for the sports car, wh-e-e wh-e-e for the ambulance and pb-pb-b-b-b for the motorcycle, up and down the stripes.

Once Keith stopped suddenly and looked quickly around the room as is he expected to see something or someone but hwne he saw nothing unusual he returned to his cars. Vroom, vroom. Bang! Crash! The Sports car hit the sedan and rolled off the highway stripe. Pb-pb-b-b-b-. The motorcycle came roaring tot he scene of the crash.

"Keith," his mother called from the next room.

"Time to get washed for dinner."

"O.K." Keith parked his cars in a striaght line on the bedside table beside the telephone where they looked like a row of real cars only much, much smaller.

The first thing Mrs. Gridley noticed when she and Mr. Gridley came into the room was the apple core on the table. She dropped it with a thunk into the metal wastebasket beside the table as she gave several quick little sniffs of the air and said, looking perplexed, I don't care what the bellboy said. I'm sure this hotel has mice."

I hope so," muttered Keith.

Mouse and the Motorcycle, The AER
. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The Mouse and the Motorcycle 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 228 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly Cleary wrote Mouse and the Motorcycle. Ralph the mouse comes out of his knothole and climbs up the telephone line to the end of the table. He got on the motorcycle when the telephone rang, it startled Ralph and he fell into the wastebasket. Keith found him and taught Ralph how to ride the motorcycle. Then the friendship begins and many awesome adventures start. I recommend this book to 3rd-5th graders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read it at school and it is awesome. I would recomend this to anyone who likes humor and adventure.its beverly clearys best book yet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves the Ramona books so we added this to our collection. It's a very cute story. Funny too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun book. I liked reading about the mouse and the boy and how they became friends. I recommend it for other kids my age.
AZ_James More than 1 year ago
This book was a favorite of mine in grade school. I bought it as a gift for one of my cousins. He loves the book too. Not difficult to read and full of great imagination, this book will be loved by avid readers and those not-so-avid readers at home. I highly recommend this book for young kids looking to have some fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for young children. I read it to my four year old, I loved that it had language appropriate for a four year old. So many of the books have what our daycare center considers potty words. With a great story line that I enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book in the past and i say that this book is great for 2nd through 5th graders it great for adventure readers and for entertainment readers you and many others would enjoy this book =)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend says it is a really good book,
Love2ReadBJ More than 1 year ago
It was the coolest book I ever read. It was funny and challenging. I think people would like to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids loved this book and they were excited when I got it for their kids to read. A fun book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was about mouse named Ralph who goes on motercycle. This was agreat book.
Papa_JC More than 1 year ago
I've read this to my five year old who really enjoys this highly imaginative story - and so do we. Its another great piece of work from Beverly Cleary, an author with the true ability of seeing the world through a child's eyes, and the vision to bring it to life in words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a cool book for kids to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was well written. Way to go Beverly Cleary!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the . I read it in 4th grade. U well love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chapter 2: Dogs! A fierce thunderstorm found Mousetalon resting in a hollowed tree stump. He was busy trying to lick the mud out of his fur. "This is going to take me forever." he growled. Suddenly, he stopped. Something didn't feel right. Lifting his muzzle, he tasted the air with his partially opened jaws. He scented nothing. "No scent, perhaps, but maybe a sign?" Shifting his body into a stiff state, he waited. And waited. Until he felt something. Something big and already too fammiliar. He already knew what it was before the monstrous shape bore on him. "Dog!" (End of Chapter 2)
PinkPanther4 More than 1 year ago
Ralph is sometimes nice and sometimes mean just like most kids in my class. This is the first year this book was used for third grade. I think other classes after mine would like it. I hope they keep it for reading comprehension.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was one of my fav books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book great details awsome book none like it! Its so cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is so cool and the mouse is so funny too.