PW10 Orca US Logo

Please log in to your Orca Book Publishers account.
Once logged in, your shopping cart will be saved if you need to leave the site before completing checkout. Your shipping addresses and discount codes will also be saved for future visits.

Search Orca Book Publishers
  • An African Alphabet
  • Wolf Island

121 Express
By author: Monique Polak
Selling Points: "School, bullying, humor"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Mar/01/2008
Lexile Level: HL620L
Fry Reading Level: 3.9
Pages: 144
Fiction Ages 10-14
Price:  $9.95
Bookmark and Share

"Cut it out!" the driver shouted. He might have said it again, but I couldn't tell for sure over all the noise.
In a weird way, I was having fun. When some of the kids around me started laughing, I laughed too. I reached for the ball of paper that had landed on the floor and threw it as hard as I could toward the back of the bus.
"Hey, new guy!" a voice called. "You pitch like a girl!"
I bristled. It was my own fault; I'd called attention to myself.
I knew whatever I did next was important. This was what my mom would call a defining moment. She says life is all about defining moments, only most people miss them. They're too busy doing other stuff.

The students of the 121 Express are infamous for bad behavior and Lucas knows his role on the bus will determine his social standing at his new school. Lucas is tired of being one of the nerds. When he attracts the negative attention of the cool troublemakers, he saves himself by teasing another kid. His ploy works and soon Lucas is right in the center of the mayhem on the bus. He loves his new found popularity, but when the fun and games push the bus driver to a nervous collapse and hospitalizes an elderly lady, Lucas begins to question his choices.
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - September 1, 2011
"Teens will appreciate the desire to fit in with the cool crowd and will laugh at the pranks."
Montreal Review of Books - April 1, 2009
"Explores weighty topics - racism, self-respect, compassion - without preaching, through an honest narrator to whom readers can relate."
CM Magazine - February 22, 2008
"The plot and characters...provide good basic morals for teens who read at a lower level. Recommended."


ALA Popular Paperbacks, long-listed  US  2012


Download teachers’ guide

Ebooks are also available from the following retailers:

You might also be interested in:

Finding Elmo
SKU:  6868
Format: Paperback

Add Finding Elmo to Cart

Junkyard Dog
SKU:  1555
Format: Paperback

Add Junkyard Dog to Cart

SKU:  228x
Format: Paperback

Add Pyro to Cart

Hate Mail
SKU:  7754
Format: Paperback

Add Hate Mail to Cart

Leggings Revolt
SKU:  1898
Format: Paperback

Add Leggings Revolt to Cart

Bullies Rule
SKU:  4387
Format: Paperback

Add Bullies Rule to Cart

Your Cart


Middle-school fiction
for reluctant readers

Key Features:
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Accelerated Reader
Lexile levels

Paperbacks: $9.95

Paperback Collection
Digital Subscription
Currents Essential Collection
Audio and Print Collection

Discounts Available for:

See the full list of Orca Currents.