The Mouse and the Motorcycle

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary serial format, every Wednesday from March 21 until June 13 we will receive this in the Chronicle Herald.
Students may take quizzes on each chapter at


Chapter 1

bellboy: n. A hotel worker who carries travelers' luggage.
croquet: n. A game in which players use mallets to hit balls through metal wickets.
vacancy: n. An opening.
dreadful: adj. Frightening; very unpleasant.
threadbare: adj. Worn down; shabby.

1. How are you and Keith alike? How are you and Keith different?
2. How does Mrs. Gridley feel about the Mountain View Inn?
3. Why does Mr. Gridley refuse to leave the Mountain View Inn?
4. How is Keith's opinion of mice different than his Mother's? How do you know?

Chapter 2

despair: n. Hopelessness.
chromium: n. A hard, shiny, metallic element used to harden steel and protect it from corrosion.
jauntily: adv. With self-confidence and ease.

1. Is this story fiction or non-fiction? Why?
2. What are some things Ralph's mother worries about?
3. How does Ralph feel about the motorcycle?
4. Why does Ralph's mother think Ralph is reckless?

Chapter 3

incinerator: n. A furnace used for burning garbage to ashes.
remorseful: adj. Feeling regret for past sins.
venturing: v. Going on an adventure; taking a risk.
tourist: n. A person who travels for pleasure.
predicament: n. A difficult or troublesome situation.

1. Why does Ralph feel remorseful?
2. What have you learned about Ralph? Make a list of his qualities, or write them in a character web.
3. List some events from this chapter that could not happen in real life.
4. Predict what will happen next in the book.

Chapter 4

mislay: v. To misplace.
cower: v. To cringe in fear.
quiver: v. To shake, vibrate or tremble.
dignity: n. The quality of being worthy of respect.

1. Describe Keith's reaction to seeing Ralph for the first time. Would you have reacted the same way? Why?
2. What makes Keith wonder whether Ralph rode the motorcycle off of the bedside table?
3. Why are Keith and Ralph able to understand each other?
4. Do you think Keith likes Ralph? How can you tell?

Chapter 5

threshold: n. The entrance to a house, room or building.
momentum: n. Force of movement of a physical object or course of events.
exhilarated: adj. Invigorated; simulated.
baseboard: n. A wooden board forming the base of something.

1. Would you have trusted Ralph with your own toy motorcycle? Why or why not?
2. Describe how Ralph feels while riding the motorcycle.
3. Why is Ralph afraid of dogs?
4. How is Ralph able to make the motorcycle run?

Chapter 6

generous: adj. Unselfish in giving or sharing.
incredulous: adj. Showing or feeling disbelief.
associate: v. To join together as partners.

1. Why does Ralph consider Keith a generous boy in this chapter?
2. What would you have ordered for breakfast from room service at the Mountain View Inn?
3. What are some clues that suggest Ralph likes Keith?
4. Describe Ralph's home and family.

Chapter 7

devour: v. To eat hungrily or ravenously.
reckless: adj. Careless; without caution.
exhaust: v. To drain of strength or energy.

1. List the sequence of events in this chapter.
2. Why is Ralph filled with remorse at the loss of Keith's motorcycle?
3. Explain how Ralph acts recklessly during this chapter.
4. What might you have done differently in this chapter if you were Ralph?

Chapter 8

reunion: n. A regular gathering of relatives, friends or associates.
pilfering: v. Stealing.
tactless: adj. Inconsiderate; blunt; rude.
foolhardy: adj. Reckless; foolishly bold.

1. Describe Ralph's family reunion.
2. Do you think riding motorcycles is dangerous or foolhardy? Why?
3. What gift does Keith give to Ralph?
4. Describe Keith's reaction to Ralph's loss of the motorcycle?

Chapter 9

fragrance: n. a sweet or pleasant scent.
pandemonium: n. Wild uproar; chaos.
agitated: adj. disturbed; emotionally excited.
exterminated: v. Eliminate by totally destroying.

1. What is the main idea of this chapter?
2. Why does Keith say he is like Ralph?
3. Describe the relationship between Ralph and Keith.
4. Are you in a hurry to grow up? What are some grown-up things you wish you could do now?

Chapter 10

sparingly: adv. Economically; in a limited way.
scurrying: v. Moving quickly.
switchboard: n. A machine with instruments necessary for completing telephone circuits manually.

1. Why do the mice have to depend on Keith for food?
2. Why isn't Keith's father able to find an aspirin?
3. Do you think Ralph will be able to find an aspirin? Why or why not?
4. If Ralph finds an aspirin, how do you think he will bring it to Keith?

Chapter 11

steadfast: adj. Steady; unchanging.
misery: n. Great unhappiness.
cunning: adj. Shrewd; sly.\

1. Why is Ralph's family upset about his search for an aspirin?
2. The teachers call Ralph a pest. Ralph thinks the teachers are pests. Explain why these characters think as they do.
3. Tell why Ralph could be described as cunning.
4. What would you have done if you had caught Ralph searching your hotel room?

Chapter 12

grimly: adv. Sternly; severely
detour: n. A route taken when the main route is closed or blocked.
din: n. A loud, steady noise
nuisance: n. Something that causes trouble.

1. Describe Ralph's plan to bring the aspirin to Keith. Do you think it is a good plan? Why or why not?
2. Explain how the dog is a nuisance.
3. Give a summary of this chapter.
4. Use examples from the story to explain why Ralph's plan works.
5. Draw a comic strip in which Ralph rides the ambulance into the elevator with the man and the barking dog.

Chapter 13

tip: n. A small gift given in exchange for a service.
flaw: n. A break or crack that spoils the perfection of something.
hamper: v. A large basket that usually has a cover.
tantalizing: adj. Teasing with something that is desired but out of reach.

1. What is the main idea of the book?
2. What was your favourite part of the book? Why?
3. Did you enjoy reading the book? Why or why not?
4. Would you like having Ralph as a friend? Why or why not?