I wish I had video taped us reading Born to Ride – A Story About Bicycle Face by Laurissa Theule to share natural reader reactions and engagement. “They were also told not to wear pants or ride a bicycle.” Several students gasp. A couple of pages later I read, “Joe lowered his voice, “bicycle face? It’s real, you know, everyone says so, even Dr. Brown.” Several students ask, “What is bicycle face?”, with that questionable inflection. As I read the description of bicycle face, several blurt out “that’s not true.” Each of these reactions were honest and raw and then we settled in to a focused quiet, that whole class reading zone that makes my soul know the world is all right.
Student reflections post reading –
“When she started riding the bicycle it encouraged others.”
“I like history and this was super interesting.”
“I liked the part where women were brave and could ride bikes.”
“I like how the brother wasn’t telling her no; he was standing up for what is right.”
“This was new learning for me. It was interesting – women didn’t ride bikes and men did.”
“I liked it. She didn’t care what other people said and stuck to her dream.”
We also want to give a shout out to illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley. We loved the page where the mother is sewing something and the next page wearing her own set of pants. Louisa Belinda Bellflower begins wearing a dress and shortly defies society by wearing her brother’s pants.