This imagined incident from the life of motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield plays on her love of speeding along on two wheels and imitates the sort of stories she often told about her own life. The additional information at the end of the story tells of her travels as an adult on her motorcycle, including her career as the only female civilian motorcycle courier for the U.S. military. It also mentions The Negro Motorist Green Book, which was used by "black people traveling in America" to find hotels and other services that were safe for them while they were on the road.
I especially like that the author discusses the discrepancies in Bessie's accounts of her early life and those that are supported by evidence. As he says, "This kind of contradicting information often follows people whose adventures are larger than life."
This is a good book to use for units for Women's History Month, Black History Month, or with guidance lessons on self-esteem and perseverance. It is also a good picture book to put into the hands of young readers who enjoy stories about transportation and people who feel "the need for speed."
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.