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Review and Giveaway: Last Bus Out by Beck McDowell

Submitted by on March 22, 2011 – 5:39 pm12 Comments

Author: Beck McDowell
Book: Last Bus Out
Release: November 7, 2010
Series: Novel
Source: Kirkland & Fort

The true story of Courtney Miles’ rescue of over 300 people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While government officials posed for cameras, a boy from the projects with no driver’s license stepped up and showed what “drive” is all about. LAST BUS OUT tells how Courtney Miles stole a bus, charged past a police roadblock, and argued with a National Guardsman who threatened to lock him in the makeshift jail at the Greyhound Bus Station. Sick with worry about his missing grandmother, he drove his passengers to safety, then went back into the city at midnight to help others. His adventure would ultimately lead to starting his life over on the opposite end of the country, far away from the three women he loves – the mother who abused him, the grandmother who taught him to survive, and the girlfriend who would betray him. LAST BUT OUT chronicles Courtney’s life alone while his mother was repeatedly jailed for selling drugs. At seven he woke up on Christmas Eve with a gun in his face. At thirteen he witnessed the murder of a man three feet in front of him. As a high school junior he lived alone in an empty house without electricity or water. Courted by gangs who knew he was hungry, “Streets”, as he was nicknamed for his solitary life on the streets, lived apart and kept his record clean – until the day he risked his freedom to save his neighbors. Courtney’s passengers describe hacking their way through attics, fighting rats and snakes for dry roof space, wading past bloated dead bodies in toxic waters, and searching for missing family members while grieving for loved ones lost. See for more information.

If you are like me and can remember watching the devastation in Louisiana due to hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of that storm, then you probably tried once or twice to imagine what those who were trapped in New Orleans went through (as I find myself doing now watching the footage of the tsunami in Japan). None of us that weren’t physically there can really understand the emotions felt by those left behind and separated from their loved ones. The situation and individuals there at that moment are unique to the circumstance and so are their stories.

In Beck McDowell’s riveting true story of Courtney Miles life and the natural disaster that impacted it in so many ways, we aren’t reading about devastation (though there was plenty) we are reading about a remarkable survivor and how he helped others.

I really was impressed with the authors ability to tell the story from her hero, Courtney’s perspective. Readers are able to feel things right along with the story, and not only is the book extremely well written but, it is entertaining in a way that is educational. is truly inspirational and moving, and I strongly recommend it to everyone!

Also Reviewed By: Good Choice Reading

Beck McDowell has graciously offered one lucky winner a fabulous prize!
A “We Remember ‘Last Bus Out’  T-shirt
E-book copy of 

*To enter simply leave a comment in this post for Beck McDowell. Contest is international and will run through April 2nd. Winner will be chosen with and announced in the Week In Review post April 3rd.

Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
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  • Jen B. says:

    I usually avoid stories like this because they tie me up in knots! I'm stressed out just reading the description. The story sounds really interesting. Please enter me in the contest.

    Reply to this comment »
  • This sounds intense.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Vivien says:

    This sounds very promising!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    Reply to this comment »
  • Italia Marie says:

    I would love to read this!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Tore says:

    Please enter me in contest. The book sounds very good.

    Reply to this comment »
  • rubynreba says:

    I'd really enjoy reading this book about the hurricane. I'm sure it is very interesting.

    Reply to this comment »
  • LSUReader says:

    It's still painful to think of the destruction Katrina wrought. Thank you for giving us a positive story to remember.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Carol N Wong says:

    Just knowing a little bit of the story makes me want to read this.
    Will need to pick a time that I am quite calm!

    Please enter me in this contest for a chance to win it.


    Reply to this comment »
  • Sheila Koch says:

    Sounds like a super interesting book.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Sayomay says:

    The suspense!!!

    Reply to this comment »
  • rbooth43 says:

    The suspense of this story reminds me of being so sad about what people went through in Katrina, and all the destruction the world is going through now. If there is something positive about this story then Iwould want to read Last Bus Out.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Andrea I says:

    Count me in, it sounds like an interesting book.


    Reply to this comment »