Beware the Back of the Bus by Stefan Lind

Two children go missing while traveling home on the school bus, but when their friends can’t remember what happened, how can they help them get home?

12 year old Sawee has just moved to Florida from Thailand, and when Evan, the tallest boy in her class, pushes her roughly on her first journey on the school bus, she naturally assumes he’s a bully. However, she soon learns that no one else who travels on bus 4711 can remember what happens inside it once they disembark, and Evan was trying to protect her, not harm her. There’s a portal to another world at the back of the bus, and the creatures that live there have already claimed two of the passengers. Could Sawee be the next to be taken?

Written in third person past tense, this book is aimed at middle grade readers, but there’s plenty for adults to enjoy too. The culture clash between Thailand and Florida is well done, and Sawee is a refreshing heroine. Sawee’s friends are all very likeable, with distinct personalities and realistic behaviour. The plot is engaging, with just the right amount of scary for the age group. Lots of hints are given regarding important elements that I’m sure will be more prominent in future books.

I really liked this book. Sawee and Evan were my favourite characters. I loved Sawee’s Thai boxing and her intelligence. I admired Evan’s chivalry and strong character. I would love to have learned more about the world at the back of the bus. The only disappointment was finishing the book and not being able to start the second book immediately.

I award Beware the Back of the Bus

Click here to buy Beware the Back of the Bus on Amazon.

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