Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus
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Annotation: Before Kyle rides a school bus for the first time, his older brother gives him a list of rules he must follow but after breaking every single one the first day, Kyle discovers the rule his brother left out.
Catalog Number: #5262002
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Illustrator: Austin, Michael,
Pages: 32 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-618-78822-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-618-78822-4
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2010024642
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The unfortunate among us recall the carnivalesque horrors of entering a school bus for the first time: the creaking bat-wing of the door, the towering driver, the jungle of bizarre and unfriendly faces. Grandits sums up the traumatic experience quite neatly in this surreal take on the reputation (and reality) of riding the bus. Kyle's older brother, James, is the source of the frightening list of do-or-die rules. Never sit in the first row. Never sit in the back row. Never make eye contact. Never touch anyone's stuff. Each threat receives a delirious acrylic illustration from Austin that turns everything ees, chairs, people to wild malformations that slouch as if constructed of Play-Doh. The surly big kid looks like a wolf, the bus itself has horns, and so on. Naturally, Kyle breaks all 10 rules in a single day, which leads him to concoct Rule 11: ignore your brother's rules. With its decent amount of text, this skews slightly older, though its topic, of course, is perfect for anyone dealing with the Big Yellow Monster.
Horn Book
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Publishers Weekly
Though his hair recalls Conan O'Brien, first-time school bus rider Kyle's anxiety-ridden narration is straight out of A Christmas Story. Kyle is scared to ride the bus and is relying on his brother's rules for survival. Playing up Kyle's reference to a TV nature show, Austin's faux-menacing acrylics imbue the riders and setting with animalistic qualities. Kyle (who briefly becomes a zebra among lions) breaks several rules, talking both to a bully (a grizzly bear) and to a girl. But by day's end, Kyle has developed a rule of his own: sometimes it's good to take a sibling's advice with a grain of salt. Ages 5-8. (July)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 1&11;4&12; Nervous to ride the bus on the first day of school, Kyle is armed with his older brother's survival rules: never sit in the first row or the last row, never make yourself stand out, never make eye contact, never touch anyone's stuff, never talk to big kids or to girls, never mess with the bully or the bus driver, and never be the last one on the bus. Following his brother's instructions is a lot harder than he thought and poor Kyle ends up breaking every rule. But, to his surprise he doesn't get laughed at, yelled at, pushed around or pounded, and the big kids don't steal his lunch, his money, or his football card collection. Instead, he makes a new friend, bonds with the bully, and convinces the driver to drop the kids off across the street away from the scary dog. The large, full-page acrylic illustrations constantly shift perspectives and points of view, adding energy, vivacity, and animation. Readers also gain insight into Kyle's wild imagination as he pictures himself as a zebra at a lion party and envisions the big kids as grizzly bears, the girls as mean snakes, and the bus driver as a vulture. Seasoned bus riders, and anyone who has been misguided by an older sibling's advice, will certainly enjoy this outrageously humorous, well-told story. However, youngsters nervous about riding the bus might want to wait until after they have overcome their fears to read it.&12; Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Grandits' latest is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek look at the perils of riding the school bus.  Kyle is a little nervous about his first-ever bus ride. Luckily he's got his older brother James to teach him the rules. But from the moment the bus pulls up to the curb, things start to go wrong for Kyle, who manages to break seven of his brother's 10 bus rules on the morning trip to school and the remaining three on the way home. While many of the rules make good sense (never touch anyone's stuff, never mess with the bully), as Kyle learns, there are times when rules just cannot, or should not, be followed. And when Kyle survives the experience, he realizes that maybe he could give his older brother a few pointers. While the rather lengthy text and relatively sophisticated humor preclude this from soothing a new kindergartner's fears of the school bus, this is one that is sure to tickle older elementary kids and even middle schoolers who have been through it. Austin's acrylic artwork is amazingly lifelike. He is at his best when he illustrates scenes from Kyle's vivid imagination, which has a tendency toward metaphor. Kyle's every thought and feeling are manifest on the page. Worthy of being shelved next to Jon Scieszka's funniest. (Picture book. 6-12)
Word Count: 2,119
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 144346 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.1 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q54840
Lexile: AD600L

Kyle is dreading his first trip aboard the school bus. Luckily, his big brother, James, is a school bus expert. James gives Kyle ten rules for riding the bus that he absolutely, positively must obey if he wants to avoid getting laughed at or yelled at, pushed around, or even pounded. During his fateful ride, Kyle grapples with each unbreakable rule. Along the way, he discovers that the school bus isn't so bad, and he may even have a thing or two to teach his brother.

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