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The Ride Home

by (author) Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2020
NON-CLASSIFIABLE, Country Life, Bullying
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Mark is a city kid who has come to a small town to live with his grandmother after his mom goes into rehab.

Mark has to take a school bus home for the first time. The long, noisy ride home is nothing like riding city transit. There’s some kind of secret code of knowing where you’re allowed to sit, the kids scream nonstop and someone even tries to set Mark’s seat on fire. He quickly decides that all these kids are too strange and does his best to avoid them. But when tragedy strikes, Mark learns that he has more in common with these country kids than he had ever imagined.

This short novel is a high-interest, low-reading level book for middle-grade readers who are building reading skills, want a quick read or say they don’t like to read! The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the author

Gail Anderson-Dargatz, whose fictional style has been coined as "Pacific Northwest Gothic" by the Boston Globe, has been published worldwide in English and in many other languages. A Recipe for Bees and The Cure For Death By Lightning were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada. The Cure For Death By Lightning won the UK’s Betty Trask Prize among other awards. A Rhinestone Button was a national bestseller in Canada and her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was short-listed for the Leacock Award for humour. Her most recent novel, The Spawning Grounds, released in fall 2016, was again a bestseller. After nearly a decade of teaching within the Optional-Residency MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, Gail now mentors writers around the world through her own on-line forums. She lives in the Shuswap, the landscape found in so much of her writing.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz's profile page


  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Awards
  • Short-listed, BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize
  • Short-listed, BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Editorial Reviews

“Appeal to readers who are most interested in realistic stories…A simple slice of life book with a pretty good lesson learned in the end. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Delightfully poignant...Will hook all middle school readers into [the] story with language they will understand and find amusing.”

The British Columbia Review

“This is an accessible narrative with a layered reading experience.”

Kirkus Reviews

"If you like a quick read this book is for you."

Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Canadian Children’s Book News student takeover edition

“Recommended for middle school and reluctant high school readers. Very good choice for libraries and families. Current topics, high interest and smooth writing at a lower reading level.”

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