I read this book when my 13-year-old child read it for school and disliked it intensely. It is a difficult read, and many kids will not fully grasp the details due to a constantly-changing narrative viewpoint. The plot revolves around a bus of 5-year-old children being kidnapped by terrorists. The bus is driven by a 16-year-old girl. All of the 5-year-olds are drugged. Parents should know that two of the little children are murdered by terrorists in this book; one overdoses on the forced drugs and one is shot and killed. The murders are celebrated by the terrorists in front of the media. Parallels are drawn between the United States military and terrorists. Two major characters commit suicide, a father and his teenage son. The girl is murdered point-blank in the end while begging for her life and crying for her mom and dad. The ending is unresolved with the main terrorist escaping and murdering yet another person. There is no doubt this book would be rated R as a movie due to drugging/overdosing of children and violence against children. Educators who select this book for children under 16 are baffling to me, given the wide range of fiction available today. Hideous book, parents beware.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking