• Title: The Big Ol’ Bike
  • Author: Rachael Clarke
  • Publisher: Book Locker on January 8, 2021
  • Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
  • Pages: 81
  • Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
  • Rating: 5/5

Trigger Warnings: Bullying

Many thanks to Damppebbles Blog Tours, Rachael Clarke, and Book Locker for providing me with a digital copy of The Big Ol’ Bike with a request for an honest review.

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The Big Ol’ Bike Blurb

Big things are happening in Little Springs…

Everything about Oliver is small, from his footprint to his glasses-and a trio of bullies never let him forget it. When Oliver receives his grandfather’s old bike for his birthday, he rides tall for the first time. But the meanest bully in school doesn’t like that at all. Oliver quickly finds himself challenged to a race. Now, he’ll have to be bigger than he ever imagined in order to prove heroes come in small packages too.

The Big Ol’ Bike is a contemporary slice of life for ages 7-10. It’s filled with characters who could live down the street from you, or have a locker beside yours at school. Come hang out with Oliver, Austin, and Sue, as they experience excitement, setbacks, and adventure together. Themes of bullying, family, friendship, confidence, and community are all explored.

Longer than average for this age range, The Big Ol’ Bike is meant to be transitional between chapter books and middle grade novels. It’s an equally perfect choice for eager readers who fly through the pages, and kids who enjoy taking it chapter by chapter.

WARNING: Reading this book may cause an immediate and urgent need to ride your bike. Do not be alarmed-the feeling will pass soon enough. But don’t let it.;)

Provided by Damppebbles Blog Tours for Tour Use

My Review

Rachael Clarke works magic into The Big Ol’ Bike. Never have I had so many emotions course through my body in a scant 81 pages. I know it is a children’s book, but the feelings are there. 

Ollie is a sweet boy. No matter what life throws at him, he has an excellent attitude about life. Ollie makes me feel hopeful about the world. When he received the big ol’ bike, my breath caught in my chest. He was so proud to have his grandpa’s bike. His joy was also my joy.

I love this kid! I want to wrap my arms around Ollie, his family, and his friends. Even though there are bullies who sully his life, Ollie is still a hero. The ending was only sort of what I was expecting. I won’t spoil it, but I will say that I shed some tears of happiness.

I am happy to award The Big Ol’ Bike a full 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to see my granddaughters so I can read this to them. I know they will love it too! I urge you to pick this one up for all the little people in your life.

About the Author – Rachael Clarke

Rachael Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom living in Portage la Prairie, MB. She rides the twisty rollercoaster of life alongside her sport-obsessed husband, adorably mischievous boys, and two quirky dogs. Rachael likes to stay busy, constantly juggling writing projects from children’s books to novels. Besides writing and illustrating, she enjoys photography, the outdoors, acting, and sipping steaming cups of coffee. Oh, and cake—can’t forget cake. 

Rachael also writes multi-genre short fiction under the pen name R.A. Clarke. Her work has been featured in various publications, and has won both Writer’s Weekly and Writer’s Games.

Author’s Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram | Goodreads | YouTube

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