Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category


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
Bookmark and Share
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."

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels


You might also be interested in: