Excerpt from The Time Bike by Jane Langton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Time Bike

By Jane Langton

The Time Bike
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2000,
    144 pages.
    Paperback: May 2001,
    144 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One

It was Eddy’s birthday, so of course it should have been a good day.

And for Eddy it was a good day, because his birthday present was a bicycle, a new Timuri bike in Killer Tomato Red with rock shocks and compression damping and rear derailleur and rapid-fire shifters and twenty-one combinations of gears that worked with handlebar grips.

It was the bike he had hardly dared hope for, it was so expensive. But Uncle Freddy and Aunt Alex had found the money somewhere. When Eddy came running down in the morning, there it was in the front hall, shiny and red and beautiful.

He took it out before breakfast and raced up Walden Street to the center of Concord, whizzed around the corner of Main Street to the library, veered left on Sudbury Road, and sped home by way of Stow Street and Everett.

All the way around he hoped to see admiring glances from the sidewalk, but the only person who noticed him was his old friend Oliver Winslow. Oliver saw Eddy on his new bike and whistled through his teeth.

But of course there was another reason why it was a good day. The other reason began in the middle of the afternoon, when the telephone rang.

Aunt Alex had been waiting and waiting. Her voice trembled as she said, "Hello?" And then she gasped, "Oh, thank you, thank you. I’m so glad."

And then she dropped the phone because Uncle Freddy himself was walking in the front door.

Aunt Alex threw her arms around him. "You won, you won!"

Uncle Freddy beamed and kissed her and said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I guess I did."

Eddy ran in from the back porch, where he had been tinkering with his bike. "You won, Uncle Freddy? You beat old man Preek?" He dropped to his knees and threw up his arms. "Bow down, ye nations! Bow down before Selectman Frederick Hall!"

"Oh, Eddy, don’t be stupid," said Eleanor, clattering down the stairs. But she was grinning too. "Oh, Uncle Freddy, congratulations."

It was true. Uncle Freddy had beaten the other candidate for the office of Concord selectman. He would now be a member of the board that ran the town.

But it had been a fierce and nasty campaign. His opponent, Ralph Preek, had accused Uncle Freddy of everything awful.

The most dangerous was that he wouldn’t know how to handle the town budget of forty million dollars, whereas he, Ralph Q. Preek, was the manager of a bank and an expert on financial affairs.

Mr. Preek’s attacks had not worked. Yesterday most of the voters had gone quietly into the Hunt Gym and all the other Concord voting places and chosen Frederick Hall as their new selectman.

"Oh, Fred, I’m so glad," said Aunt Alex, her eyes wet with tears.

But then Uncle Freddy’s smile faded, and he said solemnly, "He won’t forgive me, you know. He’ll get back at us somehow, just wait and see."

"But what could he possibly do?" said Aunt Alex.

"I don’t know. He’ll think of something."

The bad thing didn’t happen until everyone in the house was sound asleep.

Stolen!

Eddy’s new birthday bike was gone.

Horrified, he stared around the front porch. Last night he had left it leaning against the railing. This morning it wasn’t there.

There was nothing on the porch but the electric lawn mower with its coil of orange cable and a bag of chicken feed and a bamboo rake with missing teeth.

Eddy’s new Timuri bike with rock shocks and compression damping and rear derailleur and rapid-fire shifters and twenty-one combinations of gears was gone, all gone.

He went rampaging through the house, looking for Aunt Alex and Uncle Freddy. Or Eleanor! Maybe Eleanor had taken it. He wouldn’t put it past her.

  • 1
  • 2

The Time Bike, Copyright (c) 2000 by Jane Langton. Reprinted with permission from HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pope and Mussolini
    The Pope and Mussolini
    by David I. Kertzer
    The Pope and Mussolini is a riveting account of the parallel rise to power of the authoritarian ...
  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.