A Bike Like Sergio's
A Bike Like Sergio's

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Annotation: When Ruben, who longs to have a bike like his friend Sergio's that his family cannot afford, finds money in a grocery store, he has to make a tough decision about what to do with it.
Catalog Number: #169581
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Jones, Noah
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-20295-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2812-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-20295-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2812-6
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Finders keepers? Or honesty is the best policy? Ruben wishes he had a shiny new bicycle, like his friend Sergio, but money is tight for Ruben's parents, so the chances of that happening are slim. When Ruben scoops up what he assumes is a dollar bill dropped by a neighbor, he is conflicted about returning it. Later he discovers it is actually a $100 bill ough to buy a new bike. When he misplaces the bill, Ruben suddenly understands how it feels to lose something valuable, and realizes what is the right thing to do. Despite the money issues, it is apparent in both the text and illustrations that Ruben has a fairly comfortable life with loving, supportive parents. The colorful mixed-media illustrations show a well-appointed school and a friendly urban setting with just the right amount of detail to allow the important interpersonal dynamics to be front and center. While Ruben's act of honesty doesn't guarantee he'll get a bike, his birthday is approaching, so there is hope.
Horn Book
When a woman in the grocery store drops a hundred-dollar bill, Ruben (whose family struggles to pay the bills) starts to believe his wish for a bike might come true. Jones's watercolor, pencil, and ink illustrations depict Ruben's family life as no-frills but happy. Boelts conveys the lure of owning what other kids own, alongside the inevitable guilt that Ruben feels before the realistic resolution.
Publishers Weekly
Ruben, the young narrator of this story from the team behind Those Shoes (2007), knows that his family can-t afford the bike he yearns for. -Wishes won-t make money appear,- he confides to readers. -Ask your parents again,- urges his bike-riding friend Sergio, who doesn-t seem to realize the limitations of Ruben-s circumstances. Then one day, a woman unknowingly drops a $100 bill in the grocery store. If Ruben doesn-t return it, he can buy the bike-but how will he explain it to his parents? Boelts lays out Ruben-s ethical dilemma and emotional turmoil without preaching, and his struggle and journey toward the moral choice-which includes an interlude in which he believes he has lost the money-is both dramatic and genuine. Jones-s mixed-media illustrations capture the scuffed-up feel of Ruben-s urban neighborhood, as well as the sweet earnestness of the bespectacled hero and his multiracial family. -I am happy and mixed up, full and empty, with what-s right and what-s gone,- says Ruben after returning the money. Readers will second those emotions. Ages 5-8. Author-s agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel NY. Illustrator-s agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2&12; Ruben wants a bike like Sergio's and ones his other friends ride, but his family cannot afford one. Fate seems to help him find a way to pay for a bike when a lady inadvertently drops a $100 bill while checking out at the grocery store. No one notices as Ruben stashes the bill in his backpack. The text is lively. "My hands are shaking. That money is enough for a bike like Sergio's. Then I won't have to run; I'll be riding." Semirealistic cartoon illustrations have readers rooting for Ruben to do the right thing. At first, he is excited, envisioning spending the money on a new bike, but eventually he starts feeling guilty. Ruben's conscience eats at him, especially when he cannot find the $100 bill. He searches everywhere before finally locating it in another pocket. Relieved, Ruben decides he will do the right thing and soon gets his chance to make things right. When doing an errand for his mom at the grocery store, he runs into the same woman who lost the bill. He returns it and goes home to tell his family what happened. The book ends as he basks in his parents' pride. This title hits on the issues of poverty, peer pressure, and self-control. VERDICT Parents of all economic backgrounds can use this selection to start a conversation about right and wrong, but kids might find the ending less than satisfying.&12; Robin Sofge, Alexandria Library, VA
Word Count: 943
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 184762 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q69548
Guided Reading Level: M
Fountas & Pinnell: M

Finders keepers, right? When Ruben picks up someone’s lost money, he finds out how hard it can be to do the right thing.

Ruben feels like he is the only kid without a bike. His friend Sergio reminds him that his birthday is coming, but Ruben knows that the kinds of birthday gifts he and Sergio receive are not the same. After all, when Ruben’s mom sends him to Sonny’s corner store for groceries, sometimes she doesn’t have enough money for everything on the list. So when Ruben sees a dollar bill fall out of someone’s purse, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. But when he gets home, he discovers it’s not one dollar or even five or ten—it’s a hundred-dollar bill, more than enough for a new bike just like Sergio’s! But what about the crossed-off groceries? And what about the woman who lost her money? Presenting a relatable story told with subtlety and heart, the creative team behind Those Shoes pairs up again for a satisfying picture book.

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