The Burks­field Bike Club: Book 1: Mitzvos on Wheels

Chaim Finkel­stein, Jere­my Matthews, Illustrator
  • Review
By – June 15, 2012
This is the first book in a new series of books by Chaim Finkel­son, enti­tled The Burks­field Bike Club. Chaim Finkel­son is also the author of the Cheery Bim Bam book series. Mitzvos on Wheels is about four Ortho­dox boys who form a club to help their rab­bi set up a yeshi­va in the base­ment of the shul. The yeshi­va is for the fam­i­lies in their com­mu­ni­ty that have just arrived from Iran. This yeshi­va will need $20,000 to build and it needs to be built by Sep­tem­ber, just three months away. The boys, led by Avi, decide to use their bikes to col­lect soda cans and turn them in for mon­ey for the yeshi­va. In their desire to help their rab­bi, the boys do a mitz­vah and get to know many dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple in their all-Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. Many peo­ple help them in their endeav­or with cans, mon­ey, ser­vices, trucks, and oth­er mis­cel­la­neous items. By the end of the book the boys get the yeshi­va com­plet­ed in time for the rab­bi. They also help a group of elder­ly peo­ple in the Jew­ish Home for the Aged do some use­ful work. The moral of this sto­ry is that one mitz­vah leads to anoth­er. The char­ac­ters in this book are very well described; how­ev­er, there are no girls writ­ten about any­where in the book. Many words are in Yid­dish and many of the rit­u­als in the syn­a­gogue are described. There is a glos­sary to help those unfa­mil­iar with either the words and/​or the rit­u­als. The unin­spir­ing illus­tra­tions through­out the book are in black and white. This book is writ­ten for Ortho­dox Jew­ish chil­dren, but Jew­ish chil­dren from oth­er denom­i­na­tions may enjoy it also. Ages 8 – 10

Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

Discussion Questions