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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  3,068 Ratings  ·  423 Reviews
Sebastien Ranes’s single mom and her feckless boyfriend can’t be bothered to take care of a stuttering twelve-year-old. Banished to live with his grandmother on the far side of the country, the boy can barely understand a bus schedule when he gets dumped at the Greyhound station in Stockton, California. Given $35 and a one-way ticket to Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sebastien mus ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by AmazonEncore
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A lifelong reader now in my later 30’s, it’s rare that I finish something and declare it one of my all-time favorites. I mean, that is reserved for the books that I have loved for decades and have read and re-read more than I can remember. I think the last books to be added to my favorites were Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow, both by D.H. Lawrence, that entered the list in my early 20’s.

Enter the newcomer — Steffan Piper’s Greyhound. I hope it finds a wi
Megan Bostic
Oct 15, 2010 Megan Bostic rated it it was amazing
Greyhound is one of those books that stays with you long after you've turned the last page. It’s one of those books you hate to put down. A book you can’t wait to get back to.

The story follows 11 year old, Sebastian, as he embarks on a solo cross country bus trip. His mother has shipped him off to his grandparents so she can begin life again with a new husband and no baggage.
Sebastian meets a number of Greyhound employees, bus drivers, and passengers, some good, some not so good, along the way.
Sep 14, 2012 papasteve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do you do once you've sat in your seat on the airplane, and you're either sitting next to someone who has similarly been slid into the seat with a shoe horn, or you're waiting for the person to take the seat next to you? A majority of the people who have been seat mates on an airplane have immediately put their nose in a book, or pulled out their crescent shaped pillow and closed their eyes. But I have had some of the most amazing conversations with people who were willing to engage with an ...more
Aug 11, 2010 Ruthie rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - easy read but a real feel good. Great for YA and book clubs. A coming of age story that shows how one person can make a huge difference in the life of another. Don't want to give too much away!

NWE!! Our book club selected this book to read. Two of our members, Melanie and Cheryl were posting about the book, and all of a sudden the author chimed in! He left a detailed message about the story that was very enlightening. The story is very autobiographical, and he did have a Greyho
Oct 06, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
I've survived a few long-distance Greyhound trips (though fortunately never cross-country, ouch!), and some family angst (though fortunately not to the degree of young Sebastian, ouch again!), and picked this book off the new releases shelf on a whim. I figured it would be a quick read to pass some free time on a weekend retreat. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did. The synopsis on the back makes it sound like it's going to be a series of amusing encounters along the vo ...more
Jennifer Hummer
Dec 18, 2012 Jennifer Hummer rated it really liked it
Sweet and heartfelt. There are so many perfect descriptions of the 80's here. The author balances humor and heartbreak as his character discovers that his mother simply does not love him enough. Rather than try to win her love, Sebastian realizes that others can fill this void if he lets them. A touching and memorable story.
David Galloway
May 31, 2012 David Galloway rated it it was amazing
Greyhound is the story of Sebastien Raines, a timid white boy about to turn twelve who is abandoned by his Mother who drops him off at a Greyhound station in Stockton, CA with thirty bucks and a ticket to his father's parents in Altoona, PA. Very soon after leaving Sebastien meets Marcus, a young black man recently released from prison travelling to visit his mother in New York City. Marcus will become a profound influence upon Sebastien, teaching him about Langston Hughes, respecting others whi ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Lovepat rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I have to say that I really found a great deal of this story to be as grey and depressing as the title mode of transportation. The main character is a young boy who is incredibly neglected and abused. How sad to spend your 12th b-day alone on a crumby cross country bus... I actually almost put the book down as I was so expecting a crushingly ugly ending. I am glad I didn't, because, despite the disappointing realities, the saving grace of the story was the kindness and downright decency of many ...more
Sep 09, 2012 k.wing rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I love coming of age stories. There's something about seeing a character 'become' that makes everything in my body down to my bones cry 'yes!'. I especially loved following Sebastian and watching him 'become'.

I've taken the Greyhound a few times, and man does it take years off of your life (or in Sebastian's case, put years on it). But there is something magnetic about the Greyhound that brings all of these fascinating, scary, and wonderful people together in one place for a concentrated, satur
Tricia Schwennesen
Feb 10, 2011 Tricia Schwennesen rated it really liked it
This is a totally different take on a cross country road trip and while it is at its heart a coming-of-age tale, it's like none I've ever read. I loved the main character, Sebastian and was blown away by his youth, yet wiser in years personality. His inner dialogue was engaging, and I loved his oberservations and descriptions of the world around him. I loved the detail in defineing his mother, her aloofness, her selfishness and neglect. I was routing for Sebbie all the way. I also appreciated th ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice travel and coming of age story, as an 11 year old is sent across the country by himself in the 1980s and makes his first real friend.

This is how public transportation still feels, if you open yourself to the characters you'll find there. (Well, people aren't as openly racist now, thank goodness.)

My only critique of the book: the dialogue tags. No other book has ever used the word "rejoined" so frequently. And that's such a small thing. [update: Though now I see there are more books about
Lori Anderson
Oct 13, 2013 Lori Anderson rated it it was amazing
Unexpectedly fabulous. A 12 year old boy is essentially sent to travel across the US to go live with his grandparents because his mother and soon-to-be stepfather can't be bothered by having a kid. They also forgot to tell the grandparents he was on the way, too.

The unlikely friendships he makes along the way and life lessons learned (some thanks to Langston Hughes) was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.

As a teenager in the 80's, I had to do a lot of shuffling between parents via Greyhound.
Monica Tomasello
Mar 29, 2016 Monica Tomasello rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The relationship between Sebastian and Marcus was beautiful and I appreciated Marcus's words of wisdom to Sebastian. Piper packs a lot into this four day bus trip. There's never a dull moment. While some of the content might be a little rough for teens (parents might want to preview), I think that both adults and young adults will enjoy the story.
Sep 22, 2013 Ariana rated it really liked it
This book started off slow but by the end if you don't love Sebastian and Marcus, there might be something wrong with your soul. I really liked this journey story.
Jun 03, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing
I just really loved this book. I would love to know more about the "real" story too.
Apr 09, 2011 Dave rated it liked it
I was moved many times throughout this touching, quick novel by Steffan Piper, and appropriately Sebastien Ranes, our erstwhile 12 year old main character was, in fact, always on the move. It's been a few years, but I have traveled essentially the same route Sebastien traveled, albeit on the Southwest Chief Amtrak line from Chicago to Flagstaff and back. Turns out, the Greyhound bus lines run a similar vein criss-crossing the canyoned Southwest, through the fertile Midwest and into the lush, dec ...more
May 14, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
From the moment I started reading Greyhound, I was hooked by the main character, a 12 year old boy about to board a bus across America alone so that his mother's new husband won't have to raise a child that isn't his own. Sebastian is a wonderful character- naive and sensitive and astonishingly open-minded given his situation. It is so telling that is he surprised every time an adult reacts take-aback by his mother's decision to pack him off to PA on a bus; he apparently expects nothing better.

Maria Paiz
Jul 23, 2016 Maria Paiz rated it really liked it
An inconvenience in her life as she plans to remarry (again), Sebastien Ranes's mother puts him on a Greyhound bus with $35 in his pocket to travel across the country to live with a grandmother he barely knows. At age 11, Sebastien is no stranger to abuse or neglect, and feels anxious as he sets off on his journey, stuttering when talking to strangers. Then he meets Marcus, a young black man just out of prison. Marcus quickly becomes Sebastien's first real friend, the one person in his brief lif ...more
Nancy S
Jan 01, 2013 Nancy S rated it it was amazing
This book is really worth reading. It is a tale of an 11 year old boy named Sebastien who is crossing the country alone on a series of Greyhound buses in 1981. His unfeeling mother put him on the bus in California with $35, and told him he was going to live with his grandmother in Pennsylvania. Along the way, he runs into numerous characters - good, bad, and in-between - and has to deal with situations no child ever should. But he makes a special friend on the second leg of the journey, Marcus, ...more
John Luiz
Aug 20, 2011 John Luiz rated it it was amazing
A contemporary Huck Finn with a trip on a Greyhound Bus from California to Pennsylvania taking the place of the raft ride down the Mississippi. Sebastian Raines is a 12-year-old boy whose mother dumps him on the bus to go live with his grandparents back East while she runs off to wed her latest boyfriend and get him out of her life. On the way Sebastian encounters all kinds of adventures - including crazy drivers and a would-be child molester. He's protected from these dangers by Marcus, a wise ...more
Aug 07, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Greyhound brought back memories of traveling by bus in the late 1970s ("a dog of a way to go”). Piper is spot on with his descriptions of conditions--smells, people, food—-one was likely to encounter. The story is set in 1981, a time not only of bus travel, but also phone booths and calling collect through an operator, letters, and Walkmans that played cassette tapes. Sebastien Ranes, an eleven-year-old boy who turns twelve while traveling solo from California to Pennsylvania, is both naïve and ...more
Holly Booms Walsh
What an enjoyable tale! 11 year old Sebastien is put on a Greyhound train by his no-account mother to go across the country alone to live with his grandparents. On the way he meets Marcus, a thirty-something black man returning home after a prison sentence, who acts as a sort of father figure and protects him on his journey. Lots of strange things happen on the journey, and they become true friends, each other's experiences and perspective enriching the other's in their three days together. The ...more
Shelby P
Jan 27, 2016 Shelby P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so happy that this book came across my radar because otherwise I would've missed out on a wonderful story. Who would have thought reading about a cross country trip on a bus could be so interesting??

Some people should never be mothers and Sebastien's mother is one of those people. I liked the cast of characters and many were so vivid: Marcus, Monty, Harley Earl, the waitresses, the bad guys!

I would have liked an epilogue years in the future where Sebastien runs into Marcus but other than th
Jul 04, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An eventful cross-country bus trip teaches an eleven-year-old lessons about finding the best, and sometimes the worst, in people. Mostly he learns to look within himself and find strength he didn’t know he had. It’s a moving and compelling story of how friendship and courage can turn up in the most unexpected places, and of how much difference a kind word or an attentive ear can make in someone’s life.
Jan 07, 2011 Kyla rated it it was ok
Was looking forward to this, having traveled many, many days on Greyhounds myself, often with a Walkman...there's a special fatigue and malaise you can only get from riding coach for hours at a time. But the protag's dialog was just too precious and wise and articulate for me and when he ran into what some genius on Goodreads called "the Morgan Freeman character", I started flipping pages, I wanted the journey to end.
Mar 08, 2014 Rebeca rated it really liked it
This was such a cute book. Despite some of the heavy subject matter it managed to feel like a light but meaningful read with some really wise life lessons along the way. I also felt that the author managed to create the voice of the 12 year old protagonist extremely well, he really sounded like a kid but an interesting one you'd like to hold a conversation with. I really enjoyed it and totally recommend it.
Jan 13, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
I love this book. The story is about a great solo adventure across America for a just turned 12 year old on a Greyhound bus! Sebby's narcissistic mother put him on the bus in CA to make the journey alone to his grandmother's in PA. There are a lot of crazy people and a lot caring people he ran into on this 3-4 day journey! This book is a great read with just enough suspense to keep you turning those pages!
May 09, 2011 Nicholle rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
I really like stories told from a child's perspective. This book is about an 11 year old whose mother sends him on a cross-country bus trip, alone. He encounters good people and bad and learns a lot about life. It was a little implausible that so many things happened, but a great story!
Kim L.
Apr 19, 2013 Kim L. rated it really liked it
This is such a sweet story. Sebastian is loveable and his relationship with Marcus is extraordinary. I never expected a book set on a Greyhound bus to be so interesting.
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Born in Pennsylvania in 1971 and raised in England and various parts of Alaska. Attended school at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and the University of Los Angeles, California.

Once a resident of Alaska, the Mayor of Nome asked him to 'leave and never return,' due to a minor misunderstanding.

Steffan Piper currently lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles with his family. Most of his writing occu
More about Steffan Piper...

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“Maybe that's all real love was--just something that happened quickly and vanished, a kind of gesture to a stranger or a fleeting moment of passion.” 7 likes
“Always try to be good to people don't always put yourself first, and don't always expect things to be fair, because they won't be.” 4 likes
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