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The Adventures of Olive Pearl and Hammy Davidson - A Motorcycle Book Review

A motorcycle and a stuffed pig teach the joys of motorcycling and life lessons too.

This article is a review of a motorcycle book called The Adventures of Olive Pearl and Hammy Davidson by Michael DeRosa. This book is available through

Based on the title, this book by first-time author, Michael DeRosa, appears to have two main characters: Olive Pearl and Hammy Davidson. That is certainly true but the author has also included interactions with three more characters: The Lady, The Man, and Master Chief. So, other than occasional meetings with other people and motorcycles along a 1700-mile motorcycle trip that runs the entirety of the book, these five characters are not too hard to keep track of.

The book, aimed at the 9-12 age group of young readers, follows the exploits of these characters as they seek to learn more about each other, the world around them, the people they encounter, and most especially, how their choice of travel -- motorcycles -- makes them thankful that they have freedom and live in a free country. There are also plenty of lessons to teach children to be more responsible and to encourage them to seek answers to spiritual questions.

The book is about two humans: The Lady and The Man, two motorcycles: Olive Pearl and Master Chief, and one stuffed animal, a pig: Hamrietta (Hammy) Davidson.

The Lady and The Man are married. The Lady rides Olive Pearl and The Man rides Master Chief. The Lady takes Hammy Davidson along with her riding pillion as a mascot.

Much of the dialog involves conversations between The Lady's motorcycle, Olive Pearl, and The Lady's mascot, Hammy Davidson. The humans do talk to each other and people they encounter but are, obviously, unaware that the bikes and the mascot are communicating with each other and commenting on the actions of the humans and the events they are witnessing. It's a bit like watching the movies Cars or Toy Story.

Along the trip, subjects such as motorcycle safety rules, patriotic motorcycle escorts, the American way, bike rallies, self respect, self worth, true love, the Christmas story, liberals, veterans, the continental divide, other countries, other languages, American Indians' involvement in World War 2, and behavior of restaurant wait staff are discussed and used to teach the reader about the real world into which they have been born.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

"'Olive, do you love anyone?' said Hammy.

'Hammy, I'm surprised you can't tell that I love Master Chief and he loves me,' said Olive.

'Are you sure Olive?'

'Oh yes. He is nice to me. He protects me and looks out for me on the road, and always makes sure that I am taken care of. Whenever The Man checks Master Chief's tires or oil, he will come over and check mine too.'

'Does Master Chief tell him to? I thought the people couldn't hear us speak to them.'

'Now that I think about it, I don't know how The Man knows to check on me,' said Olive. 'Maybe he's really checking on The Lady to make sure she's riding safely. I bet it's one of the ways he shows her he loves her.'"

This 96 page book succeeds in its quest to talk about weighty subjects through the eyes of mostly inanimate objects that are not much removed from the young reader's own experiences.

In addition, the mature reader may learn a thing or two as well. The mileage markers proffered throughout the book could be used if the reader wanted to take the same trip. I even found out about the Bee Line highway that heads south from Payson, winding all over the place to Chandler, AZ. Quite a ride.

Read this excellent book. I highly recommend The Adventures of Olive Pearl and Hammy Davidson to you and the young people around you. -- Walter Kern

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