Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
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In the ten years since Rachel Simon first invited the world to board the bus with her and her sister, Cool Beth, readers across the globe have been moved by their story. Now, in an updated edition, Rachel Simon reflects on changes in her life, Beth's life, and the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The highlight is Beth's update, which is in her own words. A new reader's guide is also included. Join these two unforgettable sisters on their journey, this time in an even deeper and richer way.

Rachel Simon’s sister Beth is a spirited woman who lives intensely and often joyfully. Beth, who has an intellectual disability, spends her days riding the buses in her unnamed Pennsylvania city. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. One day, Beth asks Rachel to accompany her on the buses for an entire year. This wise, funny, deeply affecting true story is the chronicle of that remarkable time. Rachel, a writer and college teacher whose hyperbusy life camouflaged her emotional isolation, had much to learn in her sister’s extraordinary world. Full of life lessons from which any reader will profit, Riding the Bus with My Sister is "a heartwarming, life-affirming journey through both the present and the past . . . [that] might just change your life" (Boston Herald)
Elegantly woven throughout the odyssey are riveting memories of terrifying maternal abandonment, fierce sisterly loyalty, and astonishing forgiveness. Rachel Simon brings to light the almost invisible world of adults with developmental disabilities, finds unlikely heroes in everyday life, and, without sentimentality, portrays Beth as the endearing, feisty, independent person she is. This heartwarming memoir about the unbreakable bond between two very different sisters takes the reader on an inspirational journey at once unique and universal.
Riding the Bus with My Sister was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Rosie O'Donnell and Andie McDowell, and directed by Anjelica Huston.


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Reviewed by Dianne C. for Readers Favorite
This is a captivating story of sisters that couldn't be more different! They were raised by a somewhat dysfunctional family; tested by the ups and downs
of life many times. Later in life, Rachel (whose life is at a standstill) decides to spend a year of her life riding the city buses with her mentally challenged sister who is less than a year younger than her. Rachel is not sure if this will be the best or worst year of her life, but she wants to try to get to know her sister better. This story is a twist, and turn ride that any of us could be involved in with our own siblings. Rachel's story of Beth is a real eye-opener!
I have worked with, and been friends with, mentally challenged people, but didn't always know what they thought, or how they really felt. I have wondered what goes on in their minds, and how they feel about themselves. Why do some just not like change? This book helped me to understand that they are their own persons. You may help them with suggestions, but in the end they have the right to decide things for themselves, and allowed to by law! I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a family member or friend who is mentally challenged or works with one. You understand why there are frustrations on both sides of the fence, and how great the people are who work constantly to better the lives of these forgotten humans! I highly recommend this book and give it a 5+++++ rating.

Review: Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

User Review  - Nicky - Goodreads

A thoughtful reflective book about a woman and her sister as they journey through a year to rediscover each other as adults. Invaluable in drawing a comparatively complete picture of an adult living ... Read full review

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A Year and a Half Later
Ten Years Later
Back Matter
Back Flap
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Page 14 - I would have to convey information from one to the other, never quite belonging to either.

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About the author (2013)

Rachel Simon is an award-winning author and nationally known public speaker. She is best known for her critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir Riding the Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. The book has garnered numerous awards, and is a frequent and much beloved selection of many book clubs, school reading programs, and city-wide reads throughout the country. Simon is also the author of the bestselling novel The Story of Beautiful Girl. She lives in Delaware and can be reached through her website, www.RachelSimon.com.

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