Bully on the Bus

144p. Kane Miller. Sept. 2018. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781610677707.
Gr 2–5—Leroy and his older sister Ruby ride the bus to school every day. Unfortunately, so does DJ, a high schooler who consistently insults, mocks, and physically assaults Leroy. While only 10 years old, Ruby stands up to DJ, but the teen is undeterred. Despite Leroy's desperate desire to fly away and escape DJ, he is paralyzed by fear and frustration. Eventually, Ruby's honesty and their parents' visible concern finally persuades Leroy to tell them about DJ and the bullying. Leroy's father discusses the issue with his favorite teacher, Mrs. Wilson, who in turn helps Leroy discover a "secret weapon" to finally put an end to the bullying. The honesty and rawness of Leroy's emotions expressed throughout each verse will stir compassion in young readers. For readers experiencing or witnessing bullying themselves, it will hopefully inspire and empower.
VERDICT A short yet poignant title on a timely topic; a valuable addition to elementary school and public library collections.

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