Book Review: Riding the Bus With My Sister by Rachel Simon

I don't really know where to start with this book. It was a story of two sisters, but it was also many other things. I almost felt like I should get out pencil and paper and take notes as I was reading.

Riding the Bus With My Sister is a true story, written by the older sister (Rachel) in order to understand her younger, mentally retarded sister (Beth). Rachel agrees to accompany her sister on her bus routes as often as she can for a year. Beth lives on her own and gets along just fine. She has decided that she does not want to work, instead she rides city buses day in, day out. In doing this, she has created a world for herself that she is in control of. Rachel learns about her sister and life in general as she embarks on this journey.

Rachel has a chance to meet all of the people who mean the most to Beth including her boyfriend, her support team, and most importantly the bus drivers. These drivers seem like average, everyday people, but they each have a gift (their time and kindness) that they are more than willing to share.

I was drawn into this book by how candid Rachel seemed to be about her feelings toward her sister. I was able to get a feel for how it might be to grow up with a sibling that has a disability. I also was intrigued by all of the different philosophies of life that there seem to be, as presented by the bus drivers. I guess driving a bus isn't just about driving a bus. I could go on and on about this book. There are a lot of issues that could be discussed, such as medical and social ethics, familial relationships, stereotypes, etc. It should make for a great book club discussion.

My Rating

Overall: 3.5 stars. It was well written. Those who enjoy memoirs will really like this book.

Objectionable Content: none


Anonymous July 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM  

you should refrain from using the R word. that is very rude.

Anonymous November 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM  

The reason this person used the r word is probably because this book is written where the r word was the correct term so it is used consistently through the book

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