Last Bus Out (Paperback)
Kirkland & Fort, 9780615390345, 236pp.
Publication Date: November 7, 2010
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 LastBusOut.com for more information.
About the Author
Beck McDowell is a high school teacher and New Orleans native who spent two years interviewing Courtney and others and retracing the bus route. She wrote LAST BUS OUT to honor those who, like Courtney, fought depression, fear, and anger to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina. She currently lives in Huntsville, Alabama.