The White Bicycle

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Overview

The White Bicycle is the third stand-alone title in the Wild Orchid series about a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome. This installment chronicles Taylor Jane's travels to the south of France where she spends a summer babysitting for the Phoenix family. Including flashbacks into Taylor's earliest memories, along with immediate scenes in Lourmarin, a picturesque village in the Luberon Valley, The White Bicycle results in a journey for independence both personal and universal, ...

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The White Bicycle

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Overview

The White Bicycle is the third stand-alone title in the Wild Orchid series about a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome. This installment chronicles Taylor Jane's travels to the south of France where she spends a summer babysitting for the Phoenix family. Including flashbacks into Taylor's earliest memories, along with immediate scenes in Lourmarin, a picturesque village in the Luberon Valley, The White Bicycle results in a journey for independence both personal and universal, told in Taylor's honest first-person prose.

Beverley Brenna lives on an acreage near Saskatoon with her husband and three sons. The family also cares for a dog, two cats, and sometimes lambs. Dr. Brenna is an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan where she teaches curriculum courses in Education specializing in Literacy and Children's Literature (www.usask.ca/education/people/brenna.htm).

A 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sharon Blumberg
In this third entry in a coming-of-age series, Taylor is a unique teenager who happens to have Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Over one summer, Taylor travels to the southern part of France in the Lourmarin area, where she takes on the assignment of personal care assistant, but many circumstances complicate her life. A good part of this novel revolves around the landscape and artistic culture in this part of the world. If only taking on a work assignment would be that easy, Taylor often ponders as she tells us her story in the first-person. Her father left her and her mother when she was still a child. Taylor reflects on this as she inwardly blames herself. Her overbearing mother accompanies her to France. In some ways, this stifles and smothers Taylor. In fact, it is Taylor's annoying, yet well-meaning mother who complicates Taylor's life throughout the novel. Taylor has to choose how to navigate this rough landscape. With her trusty white bicycle by her side and her fighting spirit, can Taylor overcome her life's obstacles? The author's personal background brings many unusual aspects to the creation of this third novel in her series. Her background in theater and her connection to her own late mother and autism blend well together. This is a great read for young adults who would like to figure out their identity in a choice-filled world. They will not be disappointed. Reviewer: Sharon Blumberg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889954830
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 183,446
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

"Something to Hang On To" marks BEVERLEY BRENNA's fifth publication for young readers. The protagonist of her acclaimed YA novel, "Wild Orchid" (Red Deer Press), which was nominated for the Canadian Library Association's Reader's Choice award in three different provinces and was listed on the New York Public Library's Recommended Books for the Teen Age in 2007, resurfaces in her short fiction collection "Something to Hang On To".

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    POWERFUL READ! Taylor Jane Simon, a 19-year-old girl with Asper

    POWERFUL READ! Taylor Jane Simon, a 19-year-old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, is back in the conclusion to Beverley Brenna’s Wild Orchid trilogy. Although the books in the series are stand-alone, each story features the spirited and strong-willed Taylor Jane. In The White Bicycle, Taylor travels to the South to the South of France with her mother, where she has a job as a “personal care assistant” for Martin Phoenix, a boy in a wheelchair who is unable to speak without special equipment. She has agreed to take the job because she wants to put in on her resume. She cares for Martin, but her free time is spent traveling the French countryside on her white bicycle, trying to make sense of her past so that she can move forward in her life. Along the way she meets an unlikely mentor who is somewhat of a mirror for Taylor. Taylor has one goal in mind — to become independent.

    Why I like this book/series: First of all, the story is told in first person so that the reader has a front row seat into how Taylor thinks, feels and responds to the world. The story is Taylor’s private daily journal. Brenna has a gift of getting into the mind of her character so that the reader experiences Taylor. Her characters are well-developed and you find yourself cheering for Taylor on her journey. Secondly, this is the first series I have read where we actually follow a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome, graduating from high school, going to college, getting a job, leaving her comfort zone and traveling to a foreign country, transitioning from adolescence to adulthood before our eyes and struggling to gain independence from her mother. This is a typical response, but even more powerful from a young woman with Asperger’s. With so many children in the Autism Spectrum who will be making this transition in coming years, the Wild Orchid trilogy this is an important story for families, teenagers and teachers. I enjoyed watching Taylor’s steady growth and strong spirit in the series.

    Another point of interest point is the beautiful cover art for The White Bicycle. It was done by artist Taylor Crowe, who was diagnosed at a young age with autism. His artistic talent was nurtured by family and therapists. Today he lectures about autism to educators, behavioral therapists, and families – a real success story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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