The Night Bus Hero

Publisher: Orion

Hector is a bully who doesn’t really care about anyone and thinks his cringey parents don’t care about him. His teachers don’t seem to like him (he certainly hates them), he particularly dislikes teacher’s pet Mei Lei, and he devotes his time to being mean to other kids and making them give him sweets.

He’s got so little sympathy for a local homeless man Thomas (who is taking up space in the park, including a bench Hector would like to sit on) that he ends up pushing Thomas’s trolley containing his only worldly possessions into the park pond without a single thought of how much hurt that would cause.

When a spate of London landmark sculptures are suddenly stolen, including Paddington Bear and the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus, Hector is convinced the crimes have been carried out by homeless people led by Thomas - but no sooner has he reported Thomas to the police than he realises he's got it horribly wrong. With the help of his enemy Mei Lei, Hector must race against time to make sure justice is done - but that's not the only thing he needs to change.

A brilliantly written and totally engrossing story that will help children understand and think deeply about the real human beings whose lives are impacted by homelessness - and also more generally about the power of kindness, friendship, empathy and how everyone has the potential to change for the better. Onjali Q Rauf (winner of the Blue Peter Book Award and Waterstones book prize for The Boy at the Back of the Class) has written a gripping, realistic, and relatable tale with a strong moral at its heart, perfect for children aged seven and up.

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