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Church elder delivers laugh-out-loud school bus stories


As a retired teacher, I can tell you that school bus drivers are some of the most important, yet unappreciated, people in the world of education. So when a book arrived in our office with a man — complete with sunglasses, mustache and mutton chops — smiling in front of a big yellow school bus, I immediately wanted to read it.

Tom Brandon. Mr. Brandon’s School Bus: What I Heard on the Way to School. Montgomery, Ala.: NewSouth Books, 2017. 144 pages.Tom Brandon, author of “Mr. Brandon’s School Bus: What I Heard on the Way to School,” has worked as a teacher, coach and bus driver for a rural school in northern Alabama. He’s a graduate of Harding University in Arkansas and an elder of the Meridianville Church of Christ in Alabama. He has served on a number of education advisory councils and received a Steve Harvey Neighborhood Award, sponsored by the actor and comedian, for Best Bus Driver of the Year.

The book is a collection of short, page-long (or less) tales from the school bus. Mr. Brandon narrates his escapades with the elementary age characters he serves. I laughed out loud many times, shed tears and read a few of his stories to those who sat still long enough to laugh with me. I grew fond of his regular riders — Hot Pickle Boy, Mr. Mucus and the Twins That Are Not Twins. The vivid writing style made me feel like I was on that yellow bus.

Melinda Wilson | What We’re ReadingMr. Brandon is a storyteller. He has a front-row seat to the wonder and innocence of childhood, and he helps these kiddos get to school safely so they can learn. We all learn on Mr. Brandon’s school bus.

I will never look at a big, yellow school bus the same way again. Most likely, when school starts each fall and I miss it for a nanosecond, I’ll pick up “Mr. Brandon’s School Bus” and feel like I’m back.

I may even become a bus driver myself.

OK, maybe not.

MELINDA WILSON is an administrative assistant for The Christian Chronicle. She worships with the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

Filed under: News Extras Reviews

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