Review Blog

May 18 2016

How to build a motorcycle: A racing adventure of mechanics, teamwork, and friendship by Saskia Lacey

cover image

Ill. by Martin Sodomka. Quarto, 2016. ISBN 9781633220577
Known as 'The Marvelous Mouse Mechanic' following his construction of and adventures in both a miniature plane and a miniature car, Eli is somewhat full of himself and much to the dismay of his best friends Hank Frog and Phoebe Sparrow, he is now determined to build a miniature motorbike. However, along with the talented pit crew they band together and set to work. As they start working, they encounter many unexpected obstacles, teaching them (and the reader) about the different parts that make a motorcycle work. Through hard work and perseverance, the three friends learn about mechanics and teamwork as they work together to build a miniature motorcycle, ready for the big race.
But an accident during trials puts lives, friendships and the race on the line. Is winning everything?
This is the third in this series that weaves the building of everyday objects into a story of friendship. Detailed illustrations explain the overall functions of the engine, clutch, brakes, distributors, as well as many other parts of the motorcycle and how they all go together to make it work demonstrating the principles of movement and motion and physics in a practical way that helps younger readers to understand them more clearly. More for the independent, mechanically-minded reader, this series certainly has a place on the shelves of those with makerspaces or trying to encourage a greater interest in STEM. It fits E for Engineering very well!
Barbara Braxton

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