Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Hardcover, 9780805069815, 128pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
A compelling story about the importance of standing up for what is right
"I was almost home when I saw our new next-door neighbor, Miss Frances Willard, standing in front of her house. Oddly enough, she was holding on to a safety-bicycle!"
Lillie is having a difficult year. She's still struggling with her mother's recent death, and now her father has moved the family to the other side of town. But when Frances Willard-Lillie's new neighbor-decides to learn how to ride a bicycle, Lillie finds promising change all around her.
Even though her father disapproves of their progressive neighbor, Lillie and Miss Frances soon become friends. Miss Frances is involved in more than taming a wild bike, however; she is part of Susan B. Anthony's circle, fighting for the right for women to vote, as well as child-labor laws and better conditions for workers. Together, Lillie and Miss Frances take on their beasts-a bike and a daunting spelling bee-and find the will to dust themselves off, get back up, and ride for all they're worth.
Set in the late 1800s, this engaging novel skillfully blends fine storytelling with women's history.
Jane Kurtz is the author of I'm Sorry, Almira Ann and many other books for children-picture books through young-adult fiction. She lives in Kansas.
Beth Peck has illustrated A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, as well as other acclaimed books for young readers. She lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin, with her family.
"Kurtz packs a surprising amount of history and drama into this agreeable, easily read story." --The Horn Book