Our BLG book this week was Ben Rides On by Matt Davies which I must confess is already an absolute favourite of mine for 2013. Some of the students knew this book but for many it was brand new and we were delighted to share in an entertaining read aloud session with Bill, one of our beloved BLG readers! As Kala said early on in the read aloud, “I love listening to Bill!” And then a few whispers began . . . “Yea remember when he read the pirate book?” Bill was the ideal guy to read us this story! And many people liked his pinstriped pants! Hurray for guest readers! 🙂 And books like this . . .
This story speaks right to the part of all little elementary school children’s brains that has a high sensitivity to FAIR. If someone hasn’t been kind to you, do you have to do the right thing by that person? Really? Ben must face this question when he literally finds Adrian, the big mean bike thief, hanging by a tree branch. Is it all on him to help him? Even after what Adrian has done to him?
Hardly a typical book that explores the bully/victim dynamic. This title has many themes – bullies, compassion, and the joy of a kid on a bike. How do we treat others when given the opportunity for revenge? This book poses that question in the most hilarious and sensitive of ways.
Little listeners get very big eyes listening to this book. It unveils a story that speaks directly to the question “What is the right thing to do? No matter what . . . ” Just about four pages into the story, one listener announced, “I already got about three things to write about this book!” And write they did . . .
Student reviewers respond:
Kelvin rates this book 5/5 and writes: My favourite pat was Ben helped Adrian. Adrian almost fell from a branch and got saved by Ben. I liked it because Ben noticed that Adrian is a bully and at the same time, a friend. Ben did the right thing even though Adrian did the wrong thing.
Arianne rates this book 5/5 and writes: He can jump over 5 buses. The big kid pushed him. Adrian fixed his bike. Ben helped Adrian up from the cliff.
Joeli writes: When Ben might have made his revenge, why does his face look weird? Also why did he jump over a lake with sharks without any hill? How did Adrian pay for a bike repair When Ben helped Adrian, why he did not get a rope instead of his T-shirt?
Jerry writes: I liked when Adrian steals Ben’s bike and I liked when Adrain fell down to the hill. Ben helped Adrain but then Adrian stole his bike again. Oh no!
Ava writes: My favourite part is when Ben decided to not do revenge. Ben has a new bike and he is so happy for his new bike. He takes the really long way to school but he is not so happy when he gets to school. Where did he get his new bike?I think he really likes it.
Andrew writes: How does Ben ride his bike over five school buses? How does Ben ride over three sharks? I noticed that on almost every page it has the crow. I wonder if the crow is Ben’s best friend?
Heman writes: My favourite part is when Ben and his friend saved Adrain. I liked it when Adrain fixed Ben’s bike. I wonder how Ben jumped over the school bus and the sharks? Why didn’t Adrain wear a helmet when he rode Ben’s bike?
Brian writes: My favourite part was when I had a connection with Desmond and the Very Mean Word. The books are kind of the same because both books have the same things of bullies.
Steven writes: I saw a boy jump over a bus. The bike was broken. He helped Adrian.
Soleen writes: My favourite part was when the bike was very carefully leaned against the gate. Ben’s smile was a revenge smile. I had a connection from Desmond and the Very Mean Word because Desmond and Ben both had boys become their friend.
Kevin writes: I loved when Ben ride over four school buses. I like when Ben saved Adrian and I liked it when Adrian fixed Ben’s bike. I loved it when Ben did a revenge smile but he saved Adrian’s life and said don’t let go. I know why he wants to take the long cut because he loves his bike so so much.
Calvin writes: The big kid with the bike went too fast. He crashed in the tree and maybe the brake is broken.
Pheonix writes: I like revenge! I like revenge because it’s mostly evil and even.
Gracie rates this book 4/5 and writes: My favourite part is when Adrian fixes Ben’s bike. Ben had karma. He did something good by helping Adrian not fall off of the tree branch and something good happened to Ben. Why is the crow always following Ben? I wish I could do all those things like jumping over buses and sharks. I wonder if before Ben got his bike he didn’t like school.