Occasional kindnesses and acts of genuine compassion soften the impact of the neglect, cruelty, and betrayal Bully negotiates in this gut-wrenching, gripping debut.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
There’s no denying that Byrne can write hard-core action that keeps the pages turning…Boy and dog make a redoubtable, memorable team.
An intriguing tale of survival and perseverance that will appeal to fans of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee…A stirring, adrenaline-laced tale of endurance that will resonate with young bibliophiles.
—School Library Journal
This first novel is grim and brutal, yet still offers a sliver of hope for Bully and his future.
This contemporary fiction is a thriller to the end with strong characterization and nail-biting scenes leading up to Bully’s final achievement: finding a family to love him. English teacher Michael Byrne’s debut title will appeal to readers who love action-packed stories and may particularly appeal to reluctant readers.
—School Library Connection
The urgency of Bully’s plight (underscored by a frequently appearing countdown of the remaining time before the ticket expires) and the suspenseful pursuit by greedy evildoers make this a grip- ping page-turner. Byrne doesn’t shy away from credibly portraying the multitude of hardships faced by a kid on the streets, and lowlife Janks is truly vicious (he not only kidnaps Bully but puts the injured Jack into a dogfight)…Fans of Cottrell Boyce’s Millions (BCCB 7/04) may find similar, if grittier, appeal in this nail-biter.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books