Wow, The Night Bus Hero is a stunning book that entertains and educates, all at the same time. This is a book that demands to be read out loud to children, or sneakingly read by the child before the reader has finished.
The Night Bus Hero isn’t an easy book to read at times. The protagonist, Hector, is one of the worst sort of person, a bully. The way at times, his actions are brushed over, even celebrated by those of his friends makes the first few chapters uncomfortable. It’s only when he starts to realise the direction he’s been going that you sew him in a better light.
The story really has two parts, the bullying and the way he terrorises the entire school and then his caring side which is brought slowly to the surface by his interactions with Meilei, the teacher’s pet. After attacking Thomas, the homeless man in the park, pushing his trolley into the water, his character improves.
With homeless people being blamed for the theft of statues across London, Hector witnesses the theft of a statue. The perpetrator he recognises as Thomas, but is he right?
This book is a triumph, a brilliant story that I’m sure will be enjoyed by 7 to 11 year olds, as well as parents and grandparents. There are many heartbreaking moments, as well as guffaw laughs. The issues it raises are important today and fiction, especially this book, helps raise them in a rewarding way. It doesn’t lecture, just places the facts and the story at your eyes.
Now to start and read a few more of Onjali’s books…