The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street by Sharon G. Flake

The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd StreetQueen (and that is her given name) is the youngest child and the only girl in her family and she is very spoiled.  Her brothers are in college and they and her father all indulge her.  Her mother occasionally tries to keep her feet on the ground.  Her best friend  also plays along with her.  She lets her be the “queen” and pretends to be her subject and waits on her.  Needless to say, Queen has some problems fitting in at school.  She is very bright and always has her hand up but her teacher doesn’t like to call on her and the other children don’t cater to her so she doesn’t have friends.

When Queen’s best friend has to go back to Puerto Rico because her grandmother is sick, Queen is without a playmate.  When a new boy, Leroy,  starts school her parents meet him and become friends with him.  Her father fixes his bike for him and her mother invites him to lunch.  Queen doesn’t like him.  His clothes are ragged, she thinks he smells and he talks about being a prince and having lived in Africa which she thinks is a big lie.  Queen decides to spy on Leroy so she can reveal him as a liar to the kids at school so that they won’t like him and they will like her.

I wouldn’t say that Queen becomes a totally different person in this book but she learns a lot about herself and other people and she comes to appreciate that princes may come in very  different forms than dressed in shining armor and riding a white horse.  This story is a quick read and has interesting characters.  It is a good book to recommend to a child who thinks too much about themselves and not enough about other people or one who sets too much store in material things.  Recommended for boys and girls in 4th and 5th grades. 

Posted by: Fran W.

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