We continue our occasional series previewing good reads for young adults from Katherine Farmer, Coordinator of the Racers Children's Preview Collection at Murray State University. This week's recommended read is The White Bicycle, by Beverly Brenna, a 2013 Printz Honor coming-of-age adventure told from the perspective of Taylor Jane, a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome. Booklist calls this story, for ages 14 to 17, a "finespun gem" that would be "a shame" to miss.
How do you find your way in the world when you see the world differently than everyone else? How do you know that you are capable of living an independent life?
In the 2013 Printz honor book The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna, nineteen-year-old Taylor Jane Simon sees the world differently than those around her. She tells us her story through the pages of her journal as she tries to come to terms with her life. In her short life, Taylor has fought to find her place in the world despite a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. The main goal in her life is to find a way to live independently. In order to find out if she can become independent, she agrees to travel with her mother to the South of France for a job. The job is to become a personal care assistant for Martin Phoenix, who is confined to a wheelchair without the ability to speak unless using special equipment. During the summer, she spends her time caring for Martin and riding her white bicycle across the French countryside in hopes of examining her past and working toward a future. If she can prove that she can hold a job and continue with her education, she hopes that her mother will see that she can live independently.
To find out if Taylor finds her path to independence, read the 2013 Printz honor book The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna.
Katherine Farmer is the Coordinator of the Racers Children's Preview Collection at Murray State University.