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Riding Out the Storm

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Zach is riding the Greyhound bus through a snowstorm to visit his older brother Derek, whom he hasn’t seen in seven months. That’s when their parents finally went broke paying Derek’s doctor’s bills and had to give him up as a ward of the state. Nothing—not drawing in his sketchbook, not basketball—lets Zach forget that his brother is living in a mental institution five st ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published February 1st 2012)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Zach makes clear the impact of having a bipolar person in the family, but his story never involved me. The bus ride and riders were the stronger component of the book. Yes, we learned about his feelings for Derek, his fear of carrying the gene, his resentment of Derek’s overpowering effect on all family members, but I found nothing compelling in his story. I was more than ready to get off the bus!
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
*3 and a half stars*
Kaitlyn Appleby
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Nocita
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
14 yr old Zach and his grandfather are riding a greyhound bus from Portland, Maine to New Jersey during Christmas break during a blizzard to visit his older brother. Derek, the brother, is bipolar and has been made a ward if the state because the family can no longer afford his care and treatment and because Derek resists his diagnosis and medications to treat it. In essence, this snowy journey gives Zach time to reflect on all that has happened to his family, assisted by a serendipitous meeting ...more
Audrey Voss
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Riding Out The Storm

I thought the book was very good because it was very well described. I did not really care for the book because when Zach was telling a story it was very confusing because he made it seem like he was relieving the story. I liked Purple Head because she is always honest and was willing to help people if they needed it. Helping people is good because it shows that you care and are willing to help them. I would recommend this book for kids that are in 8th- 12th grade to both fem
Jen  Bigheart
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Seven months have kept thirteen-year-old Derek from his sick brother Zach. Now that Zach is a ward of the state at seventeen and his parents have lost everything trying to help him, Derek and his grandfather board a Greyhound in the middle of a fierce snowstorm to see Zach for the first time since he was taken away. Along his journey we learn about Zach's illness and the devastating effects it had on his entire family. When Derek starts talking with a girl he has dubbed Purplehead, Derek thinks ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Zack is taking the bus with his Gramps to go see his brother Derek, who has spent the last 7 months in a mental institution 5 states away. A chance meeting with a goth-girl a couple years older than Zack make the bus ride a little more interesting, as these two characters develop a friendship and share their troubles in a way they have never shared with anyone else. The story was believable and helps to shed some light on the emotions that teenagers go through when dealing with family issues inc ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
8th, High School Zach, a middle school aged boy, is heading on a greyhound bus to visit his bipolar brother in a hospital in New Jersey. Deans was inspired to write this story after reading an article in the Portland Press Herald about families losing custody of their children with mental illnesses after their health insurance cuts them off. In this story Zach meets a wide array of characters on the bus trip and one girl in particular, that helps him come to terms with what he had been through, ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Zach is taking a bus trip with his Grandfather to visit his older brother Derek. Derek is mentally ill and this has caused his family to lose their home, their savings, almost everything. On the bus, he meets a girl and the two strike up a friendship. Will Zach tell her what he can’t share with anyone; the truth about his brother? This is a well written story about the toll that mental illness takes on a family, and how our health care system doesn’t support this particular disease. Zach is an 8 ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The entire book is a Greyhound bus ride, but there's plenty of stories to keep you interested! Zach is riding with his Grandpa to see his brother Derek, and, as you read, you find out more and more about Derek. Zach is only in 8th grade, but is fascinated by the sophomore girl sitting next to him on the bus. Zach calls her "Purplehead" and the two swap life stories. She's pierced and painted black, and he's a basketball star, yet they get along just fine. It's a sweet, gentle read.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an interesting, quick read but doesn't really delve too deeply into anything so it was difficult to connect to the characters.

Good for younger readers who like reading issue-centric books.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Usually I like books where one of the main characters has a mental health issue, but this one didn't really grab me- maybe because it was told second hand through his brother... "Purplehead" was a well-defined character and the bus setting was interesting.
Lavabearian (Jessica)
I think that this will work for the lower end. It takes place during one whole bus trip. The protagonist is in 8th grade and narrates from his perspective of his bipolar brother. He learns from his brothers mistakes, but is still a teenaged boy. A YES vote for me.
Stephanie V.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
It was a good story but I was hoping... for more to happen.
Good book. Ironic thing was it is about being stuck on a bus (and then a bus station) due to a snow storm. Good thing I read it while stuck in my apartment for a week due to a snow storm. Funny.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This wasn't what I thought it was going to be. It was really disappointing. I wasn't a fan of the writing style or the story. I thought it was boring and it just dragged.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing perspective.
Susan Dove Lempke
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
An excellent and touching story of a trip via Greyhound through a snowstorm, on the way to visit a mentally ill older brother.
Mar 27, 2012 marked it as to-read
ya, mental illness, family, finding peace
Katie Neal
rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2016
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2014
Delores kyara ebbert
rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2015
Say Something
rated it it was ok
Aug 15, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jan 03, 2014
Amanda Palmigiano
rated it did not like it
Jun 20, 2014
Annie Guimond
rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2018
Corey Kervin
rated it did not like it
May 08, 2013
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2012
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Sis Deans was born and raised in Maine, USA. She has won several regional awards, including the 1995 Main Chapbook Award. Sis now lives on a small farm in Maine with her husband and three daughters.