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the Mouse and the Motorcycle

by Beverly Cleary
Series: Ralph S. Mouse #1
176 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by bookRacoon

Awesome read with a sweet relationship between a boy and a mouse.


Ralph is a mouse who lives in a small mountain resort in California with members of his extended family. One day, a boy named Keith and his family stay in the room that Ralph lives in (the mice live in holes in the walls). Keith has a toy, a red motorcycle, and Ralph wants to ride it. When Ralph accidentally falls into a garbage can with the motorbike, Keith talks to Ralph, and Ralph can talk to Keith. Keith lets Ralph ride wherever he wants, as long as he doesn't break the bike. One night, Keith has a fever and Ralph uses the bike to get the only aspirin in the inn. Keith leaves the inn, leaving the bike to Ralph, and they never see each other in the sequels again.


It might be disgusting that the inn is infested with mice, but in this story, the mice are well-mannered and pretty clean. All characters act courteously. One of the employees of the inn is a friend to Ralph as well. He definitely should have told his manager about the mice living all over the inn.

Spiritual Content

God is not really mentioned in the book. When Keith starts giving Ralph and his family extra food, Ralph's mom considers it a huge blessing.


For the mice, mousetraps. But we humans know that mousetraps are actually terrific.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



This is a fun story about a boy giving an adventurous mouse the toy of his life. I also liked how they helped each other during Keith's brief stay: Keith gives Ralph food, and Ralph helps Keith with aspirin during Keith's fever.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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