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Title Author Grade level
"The Mouse and the Motorcycle"  Beverly Clearly 3rd to 5th





Summary of the story :

File:Mouse and the Motorcycle.jpgMajor Characters:  Ralph, Mouse ;    Keith, little boy

Setting:  a resort hotel, Sierra Nevada, California 1965

Plot Summary:

A mouse named Ralph lives in the walls of an old hotel, living off the crumbs messy people leave behind.  Ralph craves a more exciting life than the one he spends with his mouse relatives, who live in constant fear that humans will discover their mice colony.   Ralph has his chance when a little boy named Keith and his family visit the hotel.  When the family steps out of the room, Keith leaves behind his miniature toy motorcycle.  Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls off, into the garbage can.  Luckily Keith comes back before Ralph gets take away with the trash, and the finds Ralph.  Keith likes mice and plays with Ralph.  One day after Keith and his family leave, Ralph has a run in with the maidís vacuum and gets stuck in some sheets he is forced to chew his way out of.  The maid sees that the hotel has mice and so Ralph and his family are forced back into hiding.  One night Keith gets sick and needs an aspirin but his parents canít find one.  Ralph saves the day, avoiding getting caught by humans, and brings Keith some aspirin.  In the end Ralph gets to keep Keithís motorcycle.





Possible Design Challenges:
  • Design a way for Ralph to escape the trashcan safely
  • Making it easier to check into a motel
  • Designing a system to keep the dusty floor under the bed clean
  • How to avoid the dog
  • How to move the aspirin easier.
How do the boy and the mouse understand each other?  What about the bell-hop who seems to understand Ralph
  Prepared by  Bill Wolfson.  Copyright © 2011
Last Updated