Transfer! – Jennifer Starr

A most thrilling mix of humor and suspense guaranteed to entertain middle graders (and above), as they literally go for a ride on a bus that picks up wacky people. Be sure to buckle up because the action is non-stop. And a word to the wise: Don’t sit next to the self-important professor who studies aliens or the man who listens to bird calls all day or you might lose your mind as well.

When his mother is out of town on business, thirteen-year-old Danny Lewis is cared for by his grandmother. A retired schoolteacher, she is intelligent but now seems to have lost her mind. She repeatedly calls Danny to the window to view an imaginary bus. Danny’s friend comes over, eager to catch a glimpse of the bus. Frustrated at the situation, Danny tells him that he hopes the bus gets a flat tire.

Danny is in for a surprise when he too begins seeing a gray, hazy bus. Even more horrifying, one day the bus pulls in front of his house and a dark-uniformed driver picks up his own mother. While attempting to rescue his mother, Danny unintentionally becomes the bus’s next passenger. Trapped on a bus full of useless and clueless people, Danny desperately wants to escape. But if he somehow gets off, his mother gets back on.