Chapter 3 Summary
By the end of October, the rainy season brings trouble for Cassie and her brothers. The driver of the white school bus torments them daily, splashing them and forcing them to jump across a ditch to avoid getting hit. Little Man, who loves to look clean and neat, is affected the most. He does not understand why the driver refuses to slow down for them, and he thinks it is unfair that the county refuses to pay for a school bus for black children.
One day the white bus driver bears down on the kids, forcing them to jump the ditch at one of its widest points. None of the kids makes it across. They land chest-deep in muddy water as the white kids inside the bus shout, “Nigger! Nigger! Mud eater!” The Logan kids are so upset that they refuse to speak to their white friend, Jeremy, although they all know he never rides the bus. Stacey promises Little Man that the white bus will never torment them again.
At lunch, Stacey gathers the Logan kids together, and the four of them dig a huge hole, which they fill with muddy water to make it look like the road has washed out. Rain is pouring down, and by the time school is over, the kids’ ditch has expanded enormously. Cassie and her brothers hide themselves as the bus drives into their puddle and lurches to a stop in the hole. The bus's axle breaks, and all the white kids have to walk home. Most of the white kids get soaked in muddy water, just as the Logan kids got soaked in the morning. When the Logan family hears that the school bus will be out of commission for weeks, even Mama and Big Ma are happy.
The victory with the school bus leaves Cassie and her brothers feeling great. As they do their homework that evening, they keep collapsing in laughter. Eventually their mother separates them, but it seems that nothing can dim their good mood—until T.J.’s father arrives.
Refusing to sit down, Mr. Avery addresses Mama and Big Ma: “They’s ridin’ tonight.” When she hears this, Mama sends the children to bed. Cassie sneaks into the boys’...
(The entire section is 564 words.)