by Eve Bunting
Illustrations by Thomas B. Allen
The "Bicycle Man" fixes old bicycles and loans them to the kids of the neighborhood. There are only a few rules to borrow one: sign in the bike on time, and help fix it if it breaks when you are using it.
The kids are generally very careful about respecting these rules, but one day Leon appears. Leon has problems being responsible for his actions. He signs the bike out as "Abraham Lincoln" and fails in bring it back at the end of the day. When he is given a second chance he breaks the bicycle being deliberately imprudent and neglecting. The kids are very angry at him, but the Bicycle Man never gets tired of giving more opportunities.
Leon will learn how important is to accept the consequences of his actions and will do his best to be responsible and change his ways. He seems to appreciate the Bicycle Man intention of help him.
He is not the only one who can learn something out of this situation. Lawrence and Brady will learn that being kind and friendly would bring a better outcome. I found this story really emotional.
Allen's illustrations are done in charcoal, pastel and colored pencil. They are not full of details, but more in a diffuse style. I personally liked them.
Age range: 7 to 10 years old.
*This review is part of my project Characters with character.