A bully on the bus proves to be more than siblings Leroy and Ruby can handle alone.
Even though grade schooler Leroy loves his teacher and his fellow Superkids in Mrs. Wilson’s classroom, he dreads the trip to and from school for one particular reason—DJ. A high schooler who changes the color of her hair almost as frequently as her mood, DJ finds respite from her own frustrating life by tormenting Leroy. Insults, mockery, and poking are only the start, and there’s little that older sister Ruby, who’s only in grade five, can do to help. When the cupcake Leroy has made for his teacher disappears into DJ’s mouth, he is crushed. His parents and teacher notice a change in his demeanor, but Leroy feels nervous confiding in them. When he does, they hatch a plan. Leroy has a list of things he can do to combat DJ, including ignoring her, sitting in a seat close to the bus driver, and speaking confidently. But it’s his secret weapon, a storybook that distracts him and interests DJ, that finally encourages peace on the bus. Leroy learns the important lesson of show and tell: “Show the bully you don’t care. / Tell an adult.” Simply written in verse, this is a story many children will find familiar. An optimistic ending might be just the encouragement most kids need, but it may be a little improbable for some readers. Set in Australia, the book assumes a white default.
Simple, hopeful, and positive. (Verse fiction. 7-10)