The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Series #1) by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling, Tracy Dockray |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Series #1) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Series #1) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 232
by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling

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"Boy!" said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. "Boy, oh boy!" Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right.

Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room


"Boy!" said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. "Boy, oh boy!" Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right.

Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcyle ... almost anything can happen!

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.

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Ralph Mouse Series, #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 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.

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school's low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.

By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.

When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, "From my own experience and from the world around me." She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in "Drop Everything and Read" activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Artfrom the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.

Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.

Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children's literature, Beverly Cleary was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished. HarperCollins Children's Books recently announced that the film option for Cleary's classic book character, Ramona Quimby, had been sold to Fox 2000 and Denise DiNovi Productions. In addition, Portland, Oregon has proudly created The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, in the park where Beverly used to play.

Brief Biography

Carmel, California
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1916
Place of Birth:
McMinnville, Oregon
B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

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