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The White Bicycle

The White Bicycle

No relation

Red Deer Press

Brenna, Beverley



2015-09-21 9:29:35: Nomination was created

Jacqueline Gubiani

Contracts, Rights & Grants Coordinator

Red Deer Press

Feature film


Assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Bev Brenna teaches curriculum courses in Education specializing in Literacy and Children's Literature. She lives near Saskatoon with her family.

2013 Governer General Literary Awards finalist, Saskatoon Book Awards: Young Adult Literature Award Nominee, Michael L. Printz Award, Honour Book; Young Adult Library Services Associations's Best Fiction for Young Adults 2014 nominee

Taylor Jane travels to the south of France to babysit for the Phoenix family while embarking on a quest of personal and universal independence.

The final book in the trilogy, Taylor Jane is now a young woman who visits France this summer with her mother and her friends. Spending it as a sitter for the Phoenix's son Martin, we learn he is confined to a wheelchair. Taylor spends the summer caring for him to put the job on her resume. When she's not babysitting, she's exploring the French countryside on her white bicycle. The rides allow her to try to make sense of her past, and it is on one of these rides that she meets an unlikely mentor. With her goal in mind to be independent, and with the help of her mentor and spending the summer in France, she may be able to do just that.

Taylor Jane Simmons: teenager, disability, wary/cautious, nervous, strong; learning to be independent, understanding her past, dynamic, mature, spirited, strong-willed, selfish - only babysitting for the resume, challenge of doing different things by herself without her mother; teenage girls will relate to her as they experience similar situations that she is going through, but at the same time Taylor is vastly different from other teenage girls.

Similar to Wild Orchid, however we are now in a different environment and a year or two later. Taylor Jane's mom is still dealing with Taylor and her mental challenge, however we are now in France. This story covers the theme of self-reliance and self-esteem as Taylor has her own goal of becoming completely independent and learning to be on her own and overcome daily challenges by herself. The story continues to highlight the difference of Taylor mixed with the universals of the people everywhere - overcoming your own fears and learning to be your own person.

The story is set in the beautilful French countryside, particularly in the village of Lourmain, in the Luberon valley. It's the perfect setting for someone who spends their time touring through and trying to find themself - it's a foreign place and the countryside has a sense of mystique to it.

Female Teens
Women 18–34

It's a mix of Wild as Taylor Jane is on this journey of self-discovery and independence.

I wonder when my mother started making me anxious, instead of making me calm. When I was little and she was in my classroom, sitting on a chair with her flowered handbag on the floor, I felt happy and relieved that she was there. She doesn't make me feel happy and relieved any more. This might be the difference between an island of stability and a prison.

Although it is part of a trilogy, this stand-alone novel discuss themes related to many audiences: having your own, full independence. Again, Brenna weaves together a girl who (although she has Asperger's) is still very similar to others her age, and going through the same situations with her own fears and doubts. Everybody wants both personal and universal independence, and this "coming-of-age" story highlights that.

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