Struggle Bus

The Van. The Myth. The Legend

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
142 Pages
Reviewed on 05/11/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

In the summer of 2018, Josh Wood decided to part ways with his old Ford van and put an ad on Craigslist, leading to an overwhelming response from people that inspired him to recount anecdotes about his own family and life through his book Struggle Bus. After a teenager moved into their home, Josh's family eventually became a group of 11, and with such a large family, things can get quite chaotic. Some of these stories have Josh and his family finding themselves in extraordinary situations, such as preaching at a congregation full of topless women in a village in Kenya, attending defensive driving classes, joining a yoga program with disastrous results, completing a marathon taking double the expected time, learning to put his trust in professionals rather than relying on the wisdom of Google or YouTube, and much more.

Join Josh Wood and his family on a wild rollercoaster of a ride where you will learn to navigate through the challenges and absurdities of life with a smile on your face. Struggle Bus is a true adventure story where you follow a family as they ride through the ups and downs of life with faith, fun, and a bellyful of laughs. Wood's engaging writing style pulls you in and holds your attention as you immerse yourself in the quirky anecdotes of his family life. The Wood family adventures teach you that life is about finding joy amid mistakes and changes and that it's okay to be sometimes not okay. So if you're looking for a light-hearted adventure tale, this is it.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

In 2018, Wood and his wife decided to sell their 2005 Ford E350 XL Extended fifteen-passenger van, which their family lovingly coined the 'Struggle Bus.' Josh Wood wrote a colorful advertisement on Craigslist, fully disclosing the vehicle’s pitfalls. After an overwhelming outpouring of requests and advice in response to his ad, Wood decided to write a book about the van. The story includes anecdotes about his family’s journeys and misadventures. Read more in Struggle Bus by Josh Wood.

Josh Wood delivers in a comedic style, showcasing the sarcastic thoughts many parents have uttered to themselves throughout the ages. If you like to give condescending advice to parents with screaming children in the checkout line, you may not fully understand the hilarity in the story. However, if you’ve ever wondered why one of your toddlers is wearing just a shirt and the other is wearing only pants, this is for you. You will enjoy every page without missing a single line, as you’ll never know when Wood will deliver one of his fantastic one-line comments about a mostly innocuous situation. Wood shows that something as seemingly insignificant as a family vehicle has the power to unite people across the nation and bring a family closer as they make special memories in it. Struggle Bus is an excellent story for any parent or child caregiver, for even if it seems that they have everything together, they most likely can relate to several or more of the stories.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Struggle Bus: The Van. The Myth. The Legend is a charming, engaging, and hilarious memoir by Josh Wood. When Josh and Careese were newlyweds, they promised each other several things they would never do in the future: they have no intention of moving back to Josh’s hometown in Amarillo, Texas; they’ll have three or four kids at the most; they’ll never homeschool their children, and that home church is not their cup of tea. Years later they find themselves back in Amarillo with nine kids. They also home-school and attend a home church. This book came about when in 2018, Josh posted an ad on Craiglist to sell their 2005 Ford van. His attempt at honesty attracted a lot of attention and the witty ad went viral. The experience encouraged the author to write this memoir and it unravels as the family, with their newly acquired 15-seater family van dubbed the Struggle Bus, continues their journey called life. This is their story.

Josh Wood’s Struggle Bus is an uplifting memoir that will surely make readers laugh. The author writes from a first-person perspective and shares his family’s journey, literally and figuratively, with a healthy dose of humor. Raising a brood of nine is certainly not an easy job but the author’s message of hope and grace is admirable. It is easy to relate to the ups and downs in the Wood family's life and readers may identify with some of his stories. I found their attempt to live on a farm to be especially humorous and agree with the author that, indeed, sometimes life is better when you quit things. It’s also helpful that links are provided in several parts of the book to learn more about the Wood family saga and the many lessons we can learn from them.

Iza Grek

Struggle Bus by Josh Wood is a tongue-in-cheek memoir about family life with a working vehicle and the multiple family members it carries over its lifetime. Josh Wood goes to great lengths to detail all the features of the Struggle Bus as he considers posting an advert for the vehicle on Craigslist. This gave him a taste for writing, so the memoir was born. The story includes valuable life lessons and particular wisdom regarding parenting with anecdotal narratives that will make you smile, whether or not you heed the lesson. Lessons are often juxtaposed between the young Josh and the older Josh, where he credits professional services as a necessary addition to lessening the number of struggles experienced in adult life.

A pastor in Amarillo, Texas, Josh Wood has a knack for original and memorable descriptions such as “National Geographic topless” and “less ghetto-looking to have an open speaker than to cover said speaker hole with duct tape or cardboard or something.” He is incredibly good at humor, and the book is light and entertaining. For example, after a painting disaster, he says, “I hopped in my car armed with a bucket of mistinted paint and a large bucket of unrighteous indignation." Struggle Bus is an easy and quick read, doable in a few hours over a weekend. It provides insights into the foibles of Josh, his wife Careese, their nine children, and the Struggle Bus, which made it all possible.

Astrid Iustulin

We all have memories of the vehicles we bought, but that of the 11 members of the Wood family and their 15-passenger van is extraordinary. Josh Wood tells their true story in Struggle Bus: The Van. The Myth. The Legend. It starts with an ad that was published to sell the van in question. The ad went viral, but what memories and adventures can the Wood family tell us about their unusual vehicle? Wood reveals them to us with a lot of humor and explains why there are scuff marks on both sides of the van, how all the children have vomited in the vehicle, why you should seek professional help, and other amusing adventures that are sure to make even the most serious reader smile.

There are so many reasons why I had a blast while reading Struggle Bus. Learning about the adventures of a family who buy a 15-passenger van is exceptional, but it is the way Josh Wood tells the story that will make you love this book. He has a great sense of humor and always draws your attention to the funniest details of his adventures. By the end of the book, readers get the impression that they got to know this family and shared their experiences with them. I recommend this book to all readers who enjoy entertaining tales. I am sure they will enjoy the stories of the Wood family as much as I did.