Author: Bethany Crandell
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.
Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.
I wish I had some mysterious secret to reveal about myself in hopes that you’d find me interesting…but I don’t. When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. And what you get is an irreverent, sarcastic and emotional girl who writes stories about characters with these same traits.
I live in San Diego with my husband, two kiddos, and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. I’m slightly obsessed with John Hughes and the wonderful collection of films he left behind, and I’m confident that Jake Ryan will be showing up on my doorstep any day now…
I firmly believe that prayer solves problems, and that laughter is the best medicine. Along with avocados. Avocados make the world a better place.
I’m represented by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Agency.
Have you ever been around a handicapped person (either mentally or physically) and felt nervous? Uncomfortable? Frightened? Disgusted? Maybe a little bit ashamed of yourself for feeling that way? If you have, don’t feel like the worlds worst person in the entire world. Chances are that most people have felt that exact way at least once in their life. The main character in Summer on the Short Bus, Cricket, feels that pain when she gets shipped off to a summer camp for handicapped children. To say she is uncomfortable and slightly disgusted is an understatement, and if she has her way she’ll be on the next ride out of freaksville.
Over time, Cricket begins to learn that being a little different doesn’t make you a freak or a weirdo. Yes, the kids at camp look different than she and the rest of the camp counselors do, but they are no less loveable or wonderful. They’re just like her on the inside. So what if they look different on the outside? Summer on the Short Bus is an eye opening novel that details just how important every human being is, whether “normal” or “abnormal”, and brings about the growth of one ignorant little girl and turns her into a believer.
This book….my goodness…….hmm…..powerful. That’s the word that I want to identify with this book. IT IS POWERFUL. And so freaking true! I’m ashamed to admit it (see first paragraph) but I also felt a little uncomfortable during my initial stages of this book. I felt uncomfortable reading about handicapped children. How awful of a person does that make me? The one thing that spurred me on and made me feel less like an asshat from Hell was Bethany’s constant message in this book that being afraid or uncomfortable around handicapped people does not make you a horrible person. It’s normal behavior. Quite frankly, it’s normal behavior because most people don’t experience that on a day to day basis. To put it frankly, handicaps are abnormal in today’s society as a whole and people fear the unknown. I’m happy to admit that I eventually grew to love every single member of that camp and wanted to hug every single one of them. It didn’t matter that they were handicapped or a little different! And that was the message that was constantly thrown in my face during this book. Those kids were normal people with a different outside. And I loved them. I loved this book. I loved the messages. Now look at me rambling.
The one thing that I wasn’t a big fan of (I lied, there’s actually two things) is the relationship between Cricket and Quinn. This book really didn’t call for a romance, and I felt that that whole thing kind of took away from the book. Not only were they super insta lovey, but I hated Cricket for 80% of the book (until she stopped being an utter bitch) and didn’t want to see her happy AT ALL. Their relationship took up a big chunk of the book that I thought should have been dedicated elsewhere. Another thing I didn’t overly like was the mystery that starts coming up toward the last half/end of the book. Again, it wasn’t really necessary and took away from the book. I thought that the whole thing should have been dedicated to the campers and Cricket’s growth. There were just a few too many different things going on in the story.
Summer on the Short Bus is a book that I would hand one of my students in a hot second. I think that it’s a book that every child should be forced to read for their own personal growth as human beings. Have you seen the way kids treat each other? Have you seen the way kids treat people, small or large, that have handicaps? HORRIBLY. That’s how they treat them. Believe me, kids will laugh at the handicapped children in this book at first, but they NEED to read/hear the messages that are repeated over and over in this book. This book is, yes, powerful. It’s also something that our society needs to read about. I loved this book. Screw the things I didn’t like….I just loved the overall message. More please!
Rating: [rating: 4]
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2 Summer Camp Survival Packs and Signed copies of the book! US Only.
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