Wheels of Change: How Women Road the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy is a wonderfully informative book about the bicycle, the sport of cycling and the women who paved the way for future generations. Everything from changes in fashion, to women's presence outside of the home and in sporting events in the latter half of the 1800's is covered.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, and that was a hard decision. In terms of layout, images and overall appeal I would give this book 6 or 10 stars out of 5. Each page is appealing, eye catching and certainly not intimidating, even for reluctant readers. The illustrations were poignant, relevant and well worth discussion, even without the text.
Content wise, I gave it only 4 stars, not because it wasn't interesting, informative or unique in thesis, but because I wanted more. At 91 pages, this book really could have been more. After reading the Forward, and learning about girls in Africa, who because of a bicycle can now attend school, I dove into this books and was disappointed it ended in around 1900. What happened next?
A necessity for school libraries, deserving of a place in the classroom, beautiful and intriguing enough for public libraries.
And in case I didn't mention it, this book is nominated for the 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Non-Fiction for Young Adults.