Summer on the Short Bus

Bethany Crandell. Running Press, $9.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7624-4951-4
When 17-year-old Cricket's self-serving behavior crosses a line (she hosts a party in the riding stables), her father sends her to Camp I Can for two weeks. There, she's removed from her privileged life and thrust into the role of counselor for teenagers with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy—to Cricket, "a bunch of retards." Meeting Quinn, a fellow counselor (and a Zac Efron lookalike), and an intense roommate temporarily distract Cricket from what she's certain is her own worst nightmare incarnate. But her narrow-mindedness and insensitive comments (she refers to the campers as "dog-faced") alienate her few potential friends. In her debut novel, Crandell draws from her experience raising a daughter with cerebral palsy, sensitively conveying the impact of stereotypes and hurtful comments without resorting to moralizing. Uncomfortable moments, unflinchingly conveyed, are gingerly balanced with a sense of humor. Crandell creates a maddening yet sympathetic character in Cricket, who is realistically slow to learn her lessons in compassion and human kindness. Ages 13–up. Agent: Rachael Dugas, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7624-5198-2
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