The Mouse and the Motorcycle Chapter Summaries
Families: Here is a summary of each of the chapters in The Mouse and The Motorcycle. Please talk to your children about each chapter and use the guide to prompt discussion.
Before starting The Mouse and The Motorcycle, discuss expectations for the story. Ask your children what, why, who, where, and how questions. Spark their imagination and set time aside to talk about the setting, characters, plot and the moral of the story.
A boy named Keith and his parents have been travelling across the United States on a three-‐week trip. After five days of travel, they have just arrived in California from Ohio. They check into an older hotel named the Mountain View Inn where Keith luckily gets his own room. Once in the room, Keith begins to play with his toy cars and motorcycle. While he plays and eats an apple, he does not know that he is being observed.
Ralph the mouse watches Keith play in Room 215 from his mouse hole. He is excited to see the apple core but becomes disappointed when Keith’s mom throws it out. Ralph is also excited to see the row of toy cars Keith left in the room. He is especially excited to see the motorcycle! Ralph decides to leave the safety of his mouse hole and climb on to the motorcycle. Just when he sits on it, the phone rings and scares Ralph! He and the motorcycle fall into the trash basket.
Ralph cannot get out of the wastebasket. He tries to think of ways to get out but cannot. He is upset but decides to eat some of the apple core in the trash. He feels a little better after he eats and falls asleep.
Keith returns to Room 215 and discovers that his motorcycle is missing. He looks for it and discovers both the motorcycle and Ralph in the wastebasket. They talk for a while and then Keith tips Ralph out of the wastebasket. Keith encourages Ralph to try taking the motorcycle for a ride…and he does!
Ralph convinces Keith to let him ride around the second floor of the hotel on the motorcycle. He encounters his Aunt Sissy, another hotel guest and a dog, and Matt the bellboy on his adventure. Unfortunately, when he tried to return to Room 215, the door was closed and he had no way to open it. Thankfully, Matt the bellboy helps him…only to be discovered by Keith’s mother!
Keith reprimands Ralph about being out on the motorcycle so long. Ralph explained how he got stuck behind the door. Keith offers to order breakfast for Ralph and Ralph requests a peanut-‐butter sandwich. When Ralph tells his mother that Keith would leave them a sandwich, she scolds him for trusting people. Keith leaves the motorcycle under the bed for Ralph to use after dark. While Ralph was looking at the motorcycle under the bed, the maid starts cleaning the room and the head housekeeper tells her to be extra thorough. Ralph is terrified when he hears her start up the vacuum.
In this chapter, Ralph sees the maid’s white sneakers as she vacuums the room. Suddenly, he can’t avoid the suction of the vacuum and his tail is pulled in. Grabbing the motorcycle, Ralph pulls himself onto the machine and drives away from the vacuum and straight into a pillowcase headed for the laundry. He is trapped again! When the maid gathers up the laundry and drops him in the laundry room, Ralph has no choice but to leave the motorcycle behind and to chew his way out of the sheets to save himself.
Ralph’s mother wakes Ralph up to come eat the food left by Keith. She explains that they are having a family reunion since there is enough food for all of their family members. Ralph feels terrible about breaking his promise to Keith and doesn’t feel like celebrating with them. When he explains that he lost the motorcycle to his family and to Keith, they are very disappointed in him.
Ralph is sad and spends the night on Keith’s windowsill thinking about what he did. When Keith wakes up, the two talk about what happened. Ralph is amazed that Keith still wants to be friends with him. Keith explains that everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we don’t think before we act. Keith offers to bring Ralph food again. When Ralph goes back to the knothole, his family is frantic. The housekeepers discovered the sheets Ralph had nibbled through to get out of the laundry. The cleaning people were going to try everything to get rid of the mice – traps, poisons, and more! Ralph comes up with a plan to save the mice and everyone agrees to hide out in the nest through the long weekend.
The mice hide in the mouse hole and conserve the food. They are worried because they are running out of food. Meanwhile, Keith feels sick and goes to bed early. During the night, his mother checks on him and he has a fever. They do not have any aspirin to give him and Keith’s father checks with the front desk but they don’t have any either. Ralph is determined to find Keith an aspirin so that he will feel better.
Ralph ventures out into the hallway and searches the hotel rooms for an aspirin for Keith. Unfortunately, in the last room, a teacher staying in the hotel captures Ralph. She and her fellow teacher think about bringing Ralph back to be a classroom pet. Finally, they decide to set him free – outside the hotel.
Ralph climbs a vine down from the second floor to a first story window that was left open. In that room, Ralph finds an aspirin. He manages to push the pill out of the room and through the lobby. It is very hard for him to carry and he decides to go back to Keith’s room to get a vehicle to transport it. Keith agrees to lend him his toy ambulance and Ralph rides back down to retrieve the aspirin. Using the elevator, Ralph drives the ambulance back upstairs to Keith.
Keith rests in bed and is feeling better. Keith orders room service and the bellman, Matt, brings food, Keith’s ambulance and Keith’s motorcycle back to him. Matt found the motorcycle when the housekeepers were talking about the holes in the linens. Keith and Ralph talk about growing up and how growing up involves more than just getting taller. Keith allows Ralph to ride the motorcycle and offers to take Ralph with him back to his home in Ohio. Ralph decides to stay with his family in the Mountain View Inn. Keith gives Ralph the motorcycle to keep and Ralph is thrilled.
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