Steffan Piper,
(Lake Union, 2010)

Greyhound opens in the darkest hours of the night. Sebastien can't sleep and, soon, he'll be leaving. His mother's getting married for the umpteenth time, and he's not even invited to this ceremony. Dick, the groom du jour, doesn't like kids, which is apparent from the hits he's inflicted on Sebastien.

The couple needs some "alone time," so his mother's packing him up on a Greyhound bus at 3 a.m. to ride from Stockton, California, to Altoona, Pennsylvania, where he will visit his grandparents. His mom gives him $35 and tells him to stay out of trouble. By the time he's boarded, there's not even anyone to wave goodbye to in the bus terminal.

Thus, begins a cross-country odyssey for young Sebastien that will keep you turning pages through the night as the highway flies by beneath the bus tires.

I first read Steffan Piper's extraordinary Greyhound when it was submitted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest in 2008. Every time I see a Greyhound bus passing on the highway, I think of Sebastien Rane or some a kid like him riding alone. ... Yes, the story's that extraordinary. This is one young-adult novel that I think belongs in every middle and high school library.

book review by
Becky Kyle

18 February 2017

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