Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Cricket expects the best of everything and she gets it.  Her very rich father has allowed her to become spoiled while he is off doing business and staying away from her.  But after she throws a wild party her dad decides that Cricket needs some discipline.  Instead of going to Maui with her best friend, Cricket is sent to be a counselor at Camp I Can.  Already out of her element, Cricket is even more stunned to find out that the campers are kids with special needs.  The only thing keeping her there is Zac Efron lookalike Quinn.  With her poor attitude Cricket is barely hanging in there but as she does she begins to see things just a little differently.  But an honest discussion of her feelings might make her lose everything.

I really liked this book even while I didn't like Cricket much.  But you're not supposed to like Cricket much for most of the book.  She is spoiled and says many politically incorrect things to and about the disabled kids she is working with.  In her note at the end the author talks about people having honest reactions to those with disabilities and not being perfect.  I think that presenting a character (and others who talk about their own initial reactions) who struggles in this way is so much more approachable for people - most of whom are going to have some issues - than having a book populated by goody good characters.  Even when Cricket comes around she is still not a paragon of virtue or good manners.  But that's what I liked about the book!  Great story!