Go behind the scenes and learn how craftsman Aaron Dykstra makes one-of-a-kind bicycles by hand with this nonfiction book that’s full of photographs and illustrations about his process.
Aaron Dykstra of Six-Eleven Bicycles in Roanoke, Virginia, got his first job at a small local bike shop when he was fifteen and he spent the majority of his teen years riding and racing bikes. After a stint in the air force, Aaron realized his true passion was on land: making these beautiful machines. This book gives kids a detailed peek into Aaron’s process making steel bike frames with his own hands. Charts, infographics, and bold photographs make this a perfect book for anyone who’s curious about how a bicycle is made. This book also features a brief history of cycling, a timeline, and resources to inspire kids to make their own objects by hand.
Patricia Lakin, a former elementary school teacher and an award-winning author, has written more than fifty published works. Her books, both fiction and nonfiction, span multiple age groups—from toddlers to middle graders. Patricia lives in New York City with her husband, Lee Koenigsberg. They have two grown sons, Aaron and Benjahmin. When not reading, writing, or researching, she can be found traveling with Lee to far-off places in the world.
Bicycles may look like a relatively simple piece of equipment to make, but this title aims to prove otherwise. Lakin introduces readers to passionate entrepreneur and bicycle maker Aaron Dykstra. The narrative takes kids through a brief history of the bicycle before launching into Dykstra’s path to bicycle making, which eventually led him to study with acclaimed builder Koichi Yamaguchi. The well-organized, dynamic, and engaging prose educates readers on Dykstra’s step-by-step process for making a bike frame. Photographs and black-and-white doodles sprinkled throughout help connect contemporary ideas and uses of the bicycle to its historical origins. This selection is perfect for STEM-based units on building things by hand, recycling, and engineering. In addition to the back matter, Lakin provides information on joining Dykstra’s STEM program, the Making Foundation, for middle grade students. VERDICT A must-have for school and public libraries in need of materials to support STEM curricula and maker spaces.