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The White Bicycle

(Wild Orchid #3)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  376 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The White Bicycle is the third stand-alone title in the Wild Orchid series about a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome. This installment chronicles Taylor Jane's travels to the south of France where she spends a summer babysitting for the Phoenix family. Including flashbacks into Taylor's earliest memories, along with immediate scenes in Lourmarin, a picturesque village i ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Red Deer Press
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3.61  · 
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 ·  376 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Kelly A
Jan 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: printz, 2013
I had some major problems with this book.

1) Taylor Jane has Asperger Syndrome. Because of difficulty with social interaction, people with Asperger Syndrome are often perceived as annoying by neurotypical people. This makes for a difficult protagonist.

2) This book is meant to be Taylor's private journal. NO ONE writes like this in a journal. I would have been a lot more satisfied with the voice of the book if it had simply been a first-person narrative.

3) I appreciate the lengths to which the aut
Patricia Tilton
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"The White Bicycle" is written in first person so that the reader has a front row seat into how a teen with Asperger's Syndrome thinks, feels and responds to the world. The story is Taylor’s private daily journal. Beverley Brenna has a gift of getting into the mind of her character so that the reader experiences Taylor. Her characters are well-developed and you find yourself cheering for Taylor on her journey. Secondly, this is the first series I have read where we actually follow a teenager wit ...more
This book, the third in a series examining the growth of Taylor Jane Simon, paints a moving portrait of a nineteen-year-old striving for independence. Taylor, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is delighted to have been hired for the summer as a personal care assistant rather than babysitter for the son of the man her mother is dating. He's staying in France with his two sons, and Taylor and her mother travel there for the summer. Watching the two Canadians navigate the French culture and language is ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just a lovely voice. Very enjoyable.
Rebecca Schulte
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The White Bicycle is the third book of the Wild Orchid trilogy. It is about the journey of a young woman named Taylor Jane Simon with Asperger’s Syndrome as she becomes more independent. Taylor and her mother, Penelope, take a trip to France from their home country of Canada, along with Penelope’s fiance Alan Phoenix and his two sons, Luke and Martin, the latter of whom has Cerebral Palsy. Taylor is hired by Alan Phoenix as a personal care assistant for Martin. Taylor highly depends on this summ ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rhea by: why, the Printz committee, of course!
Three things I loved about The White Bicycle:

1. Taylor Jane Simon. Beverly Brenna has an uncanny ability to get into Taylor's head and help non-Asperger readers understand her, and it's so masterfully done we never notice what Brenna's doing to us. Taylor is strong, smart, resilient, and tries her best to succeed despite her disability.

2. This isn't a story about Asperger's. It's a story of the coming-of-age part of our lives we all have to go through. Taylor is growing up, and she just happens
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I finally got ahold of this book which won a Printz Honor a few years ago. It is the third in a trilogy, but I didn't feel any need to have read the first two books. Taylor-Jane Simon has Asperger's Syndrome. She's nineteen and wants to become independent. The book takes place in the summer before she starts college when she is in France as personal assistant to a young man, Martin, with cerebral palsy. His family consists of him, his brother Luke and their father who may soon become her step fa ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, adult, not-graphic, life, voice
Brenna has given Taylor such a wonderful voice, it's a joy to read this book for the simple fact of getting to know Taylor and her experience of the world. With her Asperger's, there are things she doesn't get that are obvious to the rest of us, but there are also things she sees and understands that many of us might miss.

In this book she tells the story of her summer in France when she is nineteen and on the cusp of adulthood, trying to gain confidence in her competence to claim independence fr
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this--so hopeful! Author does a fine job of crafting an interesting story, and I like the voice of Taylor Jane, empathized with her wish for independence, cheered for her using learned techniques to deal with her Asperger's, and found lots of the dialogue & situations humourous. Also empathized with her long-suffering mom. I also liked the portrayal of the character with cerebral palsy as being just a normal kid. I did think that Brenna tried to inject too many subplots into t ...more
Kent District Library
The White Bicycle / Beverley Brenna
This last book in a trilogy for teens can stand on its own as an excellent story of the struggle for independence by a 19 year old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome. Taylor realizes that her literal thinking and her need for conscious mechanisms to prevent emotions from overwhelming her set her apart from many people, but her study of existentialism and her memories of how she has grown over the years give her the necessary strength to step into responsible adultho
Jessica S.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed reading from the perspective of someone with Asperger's. It reminded me of both Marcelo and the Real World and Jack Gantos' Joey Pigza books. It also made a lot of interesting points about agency and free will. However, the book was far too introspective for my liking...there is very little plot, and the messages about agency and independence felt very heavy handed. An interesting read, but I could feel the author pulling the stri ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Good but don't understand why it was a Printz honor book
YALSA Hub Reading Challenge
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-ya
"The White Bicycle" by Beverley Brenna was part of my quest to read through the Printz award winners and nominees. I didn't know much about the book before I read it, and I was intrigued that once I started reading it, the main character had Aspberger's. Not since reading "A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime" have I read a character from this point of view. I'm glad that this book was included in the Printz honor list.
Taylor has been hired by her mother's boyfriend, Alan, to be his son
Justin Ferguson
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The White Bicycle" by Beverley Brenna was part of my quest to read through the Printz award winners and nominees. I didn't know much about the book before I read it, and I was intrigued that once I started reading it, the main character had Aspberger's. Not since reading "A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime" have I read a character from this point of view. I'm glad that this book was included in the Printz honor list.
Taylor has been hired by her mother's boyfriend, Alan, to be his son
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Mixed feelings? Things I liked about this book:
1) Taylor's relationship with her mother. Taylor, as children often do, sees her mother's failings and mistakes very clearly, and while she loves her she is also unafraid to point them out. This is a coming of age novel and I think one of the most difficult things about coming of age is separating from a parent/guardian/caregiver, not just because we spend our adolescence having to rely on them, but also because they must separate from us. The White
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Life is like that. Sometimes things are heavy in your arms, and at other times, you are lifted forward to places you would not have discovered without the burden you have carried."
from the last chapter of this amazing book.
Robert Taub
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This story jumps around. Not sure what the author is trying to do, really. The characters are flat, and the issues lack authenticity and life. I'll try one of the other books in the series, to see if it gives a different impression.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, coming-of-age
Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as Wild Orchard (the voice just seemed a little strained and awkward to me), I really appreciated Taylor's recollections of her childhood and thought it was overall a relatively strong and interesting novel.
Janine Darragh
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-disabilities, ya
This Michael Printz honor book was the third book in a trilogy about a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome. It was short and not unpleasant, but I didn’t love the characters nor the plot. Maybe if I had read the first two books in the series I would have enjoyed it more...
Jillian Matthews
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book, something for people to read if they don't want to get sucked into a huge story line.
Jerry Rose
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
weird Fing narrative by a YA woman with ass burgers
Nolan Hills
Nov 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book because I just could never get into it and just never liked the plot or the main characters. I also didn't like how it jumped around a couple times.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Read this one due to it receiving the Printz Honour.

Things I Liked:

- The first-person perspective truly read like someone with Aspergers (well, I don't have Aspergers so I wouldn't actually *know*, but it felt true to life.) Brenna presents Aspergers as a different way of living, not a deficient one and presents the ups and downs that come with it. Taylor still lives a full life, and watching try to achieve independence is not that different from a typical teen's, though it still has its differe
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ISBN: 9780889954830
This is the third book written in the Wild Orchid Trilogy. The main character is Taylor who is a 19 year-old Canadian girl with Asperger’s Syndrome. The setting is the countryside of France, where she has taken a job as a personal care assistant for a child with Cerebral Palsy. This book is her journal while she traveling and working. The writing is a mixture of her prior knowledge, the current journey she is experiencing and her plans for personal growth. Overall, her charac
I didn't know what to expect when I first got this book. In our library area it seemed like the sleeper of the Printz Honor and Award books this year. No library had it until we ordered it after the winners were announced. Taylor Jane is a young woman with asperger's who is trying very hard to become independent. She travels to France to work as a personal care assistant to her mother's boyfriend's son who has cystic fibrosis and in Taylor's eyes her mother invites herself along. Taylor is also ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A tender, thoughtful and often humorous tale of a 19 year old girl with Asperger’s who travels to France during one summer with her mom to be a “personal care assistant.” Taylor is a charming narrator who guides the reader through the story with clarity and ease. Her voice rings true and her actions are realistic and often frustrating.

Taylor has a lovely way of describing things. For example, when discussing her parents’ divorce, Taylor says “But I don’t think I broke their marriage in half. Th
Why I picked it up: It’s on the YALSA challenge list and it’s set outside the US, so I could use it to double-dip on challenges.

Taylor Jane is 19 and has Asperger’s. She has a job working as a personal care assistant/babysitter for a friend of the family in France for the summer. Taylor’s mom is also with her. Taylor wants to be treated like an adult, but she feels like her mother treats her like a child.

I liked it okay. Taylor grew on me. This was not my first book from the first-person perspec
Brenna, B. (2012). The white bicycle. Markham, Ont.: Red Deer Press.

Summary: In this story, Taylor, a nineteen-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome, goes to France for a month with her mother to take what she thinks is a "job" babysitting her mother's boyfriend's son, Martin, who has cerebral palsy. Readers get to really experience life through Taylor's eyes, following her thinking as she fails to understand social cues that the typical person can pick up on. Throughout her time in France, Taylor i
Jam Capelli
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The White Bicycle has left me very conflicted. I enjoyed the book. It was not a fast paced adventure tale but it does give you insight into the mind of someone with Asperger syndrome. Taylor, the narrator, speaks in very blunt and simple language that still manages to maintain a kind of poetic tone throughout the novel. Her voice however is not the voice of someone with Asperger's. I did a bit of research and learned that Beverley Brenna simply writes stories from the voices of character's with ...more
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2013 Hub Reading ...: The White Bicycle 1 7 Mar 04, 2013 06:37AM  

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Beverley Brenna calls Saskatoon, Saskatchewan home base, and loves to travel (both for real, and through reading)!

She published her first poem in The Western Producer at age seven. From this point, she was hooked on writing!

Much of what she writes contains autobiographical scenes, such as the "friendship soup" in The Keeper of the Trees, and the care and keeping of a pet tarantula in Spider Summe

Other books in the series

Wild Orchid (3 books)
  • Wild Orchid (Wild Orchard, #1)
  • Waiting for No One
“Numbers are the smallest unit of meaning I know. Words are the next largest unit of meaning, and in spite of the confusion they often bring, I admire their complexities. Words are almost as interesting as numbers. But it is safer not to use words unless you have to.” 2 likes
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