After four years of watching his mother slowly die, Silas Miller knows a lot about sitting in hospital rooms and being alone. What mystifies him is making friends and talking to his grieving dad. The first summer without his mother, his dad agrees to house sit for his grandparents. The rural neighborhood offers as much adventure as it does trouble, and forces Silas to finally face what he doesn’t understand, and fears, including how to ride a bike.
“Renee Emerson’s middle grade novel Why Silas Miller Must Learn to Ride a Bike captures the mystery and misadventures of a child’s summer while shadowed by grief. While getting into mischief with new friends, twelve-year-old Silas obsesses over his inability to ride a bike. His worries are only compounded by the recent death of his mother and the distance of his grieving father. Emerson perfectly captures the nature of loss in light of new possibilities and promises. Her novel never shies away from melancholy realities but still manages to provide plenty of levity and joy.”