I don't remember how I got started talking to the lovely Bethany Crandell, but somehow I did, so of course I had to read her debut novel. Talk about a summer read!
SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS is about seventeen-year-old Cricket Montgomery, a girl who is used to being spoiled and getting out of trouble as soon as she's gotten into it. When her dad ships her off to help out at a summer camp, Cricket is appalled, but she has no idea what she's gotten herself into. This is no ordinary summer camp-- it's a camp for disabled teens-- and Cricket is so not happy to find this out. Though, the hottie counselor who could be on tv for being a Zac Efron look-alike is more than enough reason for her to try and stick it out. After her dad won't let her come home, that is.
SOTSB is one of the best books I've ever read simply for this reason: There is no sugarcoating. Kids who have disabilities are made fun of. They're thought of differently than everyone who is "Normal", and Crandell shows this in the most honest way possible. Sure, some of the things said might make you cringe, and they may hit a nerve if you personally know someone who is disabled, but this is nothing you haven't seen or heard or noticed before. If you read this, and you find it offensive, I urge you to reread it, because if thi is the case, then you've missed the spirit of the ENTIRE story. Also, the snark. Who doesn't love a good, snarky character?
I give SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS a golden five stars. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially if you find yourself to be one of those people that is prejudiced against handicapped people. Let this book change the way you think. Take a seat on the Short Bus.