The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  Beverly Cleary

Morrow Junior Books, 1965; Awarded 1968.

Synopsis. Ralph, the resident mouse of the Mountain View Inn, befriends Keith Gridley when Keith's parents make an unexpected stop there on their summer vacation. From his friendship with Keith, Ralph learns responsibility because Keith trusts him enough to allow him to use his toy motorcycle to cruise the halls of the inn.

Themes: Friendship; Respect; Responsibility

Biographical Information: Something About the Author, Volume 121

Discussion Questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. Why is Ralph's mother afraid of aspirin?
2. What action of Ralph's hurts his relationship with Keith? How is this situation resolved?
3. How does Ralph's family plan to respond to the inn's war on mice?

 Activities:
1. What is a hero? In a one to two page essay, define the word hero indicating whether or not Ralph meets your definition of a hero and why or why not.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2
2. Ralph is an example of a house mouse. There are many other types of mice including American Harvest, Grasshopper, and Deer. Research one of these types of mice and find out the answers to the following questions: where do they live; how long do they live; and finally, what do they eat. Also, find out one interesting fact about the type that you chose.  Standard 1, Benchmark 5
3. Draw a map of the Mountain View Inn where Ralph lives. On the map, label any potential dangers Ralph might encounter during his midnight motorcycle rides. Include a legend explaining any symbo1s that you used. Ralph will use this map to safely navigate the halls of the inn.  Standard 3, Benchmark 4