APEL, Kathryn Bully on the Bus UQP, 2014 133pp $14.95 pbk ISBN 9780702253287 SCIS 1662759
The bully on the bus is big and mean. She has hurting hands and sneaky feet but worst of all, are her red-hot, dangerous words that burn deep inside. Leroy does not know how to make her stop. Ruby, Leroy’s sister, is the only one who sticks up for him, but she is not always there. He keeps his worries inside, afraid of the bully’s threats to get him if he tells. When his secret finally comes out to mum and dad, they visit Mrs Wilson, his teacher. Together, they make a plan to defeat the bully. Armed with his ‘secret weapon’ Leroy learns that bullies only think they’re tough.
This verse novel is a delight to read. Its clever construction where the arrangement of the words make it a visual treat, adds to the emotive language. Poetic devices such as alliteration, imagery, simile and metaphor are also used. Any child who has ever travelled on a school bus or has come across a bully will relate to this tale of courage and resilience. There are teachers’ notes available. Highly recommended for lower primary aged children and above.
reviewed by Sharon Seymour