Books Reviewed for the Harried Parent's Book Club
Title of Book:The Short Bus
Date of Review:12/11/11
As the parent of a child who has scars from the journey through school and is going through a very difficult time, now that same child is twenty years old and declaring the independence needed but not really sure how to accept herself without self destructing and destroying her family ties, this book is a godsend. I am required to read it for my masters in special education. I am so thankful he wrote it because I can share it with other special education teacher friends and even my child since she, if she chooses to read it, may really benefit from it. Being from Northern California, I understand the culture of Burning Man and was able to explain it to my fellow students from the more conservative southern/midwestern states during our literature circle. I made paintings and illustrations to go with the book. I also am not "normal" but have always accepted that, perhaps because I was placed in the "gifted" classes, it was a less damaging label than the special education one. I do have a tendency towards bipolar depression, ADHD and eccentricity in my genetic lines. I know the edge of normal is a fine line. I have been going to a therapist for help since all the drama of my twenty year old this year. It has been quite good for me to find this book because it gives me hope that my daughter can quit striving for normal and accept herself for who she is, a brilliant butterfly woman emerging from her cocoon. In the first part of the book, he travels from California to New Mexico and Texas then onto Florida. In the second part of the book, he picks up his sister. Then in the last part he travels with a teenager. He goes all the way to the East coast and back meeting special children and adults along the way. His language is raw but I am not so conservative that I even noticed it too much. He also tells the truth of his reactions upon meeting some of the more "handicapped" individuals. Then as he really gets to know them, his reactions dissipate and he sees them for the extraordinary personalities they are. Good advocates as parents characters are shown too.