Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 128
Themes: bus rides, rural bus routes, friendship, making friends, dealing with enemies
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 28/Jan/2020
Fry Reading Level: 2.1
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Mark is a city kid who has come to a small town to live with his grandmother after his mom goes into rehab. He has to take a school bus home for the first time. The long, noisy ride home is nothing like riding city transit. There’s some kind of secret code of knowing where you’re allowed to sit, the kids scream non-stop, and there’s pudding and cheese flying through the air. Someone even tries to set Mark’s seat on fire. Mark quickly decides that all these kids are nuts and does his best to avoid interacting with any of them. But when the bus is involved in a serious accident, Mark has to work with a couple of other students to get everybody to safety. He soon learns that he has more in common with these rural kids than he would ever have imagined. In turns funny and heartbreaking, The Ride Home is about learning that not everything is as it seems and that everyone has a story.

Kirkus Reviews
“This is an accessible narrative with a layered reading experience.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Appeal to readers who are most interested in realistic stories…A simple slice of life book with a pretty good lesson learned in the end. Recommended.”
Canadian Children's Book News, student takeover edition
"If you like a quick read this book is for you."
Must Read Lit: K thru YA
“Recommended for middle school and reluctant high school readers. Very good choice for libraries and families. Current topics, high interest and smooth writing at a lower reading level.”
The Ormsby Review
“Delightfully poignant...Will hook all middle school readers into [the] story with language they will understand and find amusing.”


BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize  | 2021 | Short-listed
Chocolate Lily Awards  | 2022 | Short-listed

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