After the First Death
by Robert Cormier
"Kate Forrester, a high school student, is filling in for her uncle as the bus driver for 16 pre-school kids headed to day camp near Hallowell, Massachusetts, when a team of four terrorists hijacks the bus and forces Kate drive it to the middle of an abandoned railway bridge. It's also near Fort Delta, an aging military post that serves as the home for the "Inner Delta," a top secret anti-terrorism unit. The youngest member of the terrorist team is Miro, a 16-year-old plucked from his native land and trained for three years, who expects to perform his first killing on this mission.
As ransom, the kidnappers demand the release of jailed prisoners from their homeland, $10 million in cash, and the dismantling of the Inner Delta. Things get off to a rocky start when one of the children fed drugged candy to keep him quiet dies of an allergic reaction to the drug. Kate tries to make a run for it with an extra bus ignition key but fails. Then, after the terrorists make contact with Brig. General Rufus Briggs, the head of Inner Delta, he offers to send his 16-year-old son Ben as the courier with the ransom money. Soon after, the shooting starts."