Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

by Rachel Simon
4.1 35

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Riding the Bus with My Sister 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rachel Simmons is a 40 year old woman, who is unhappy with her busy, work driven schedule. Rachel decides to go on bus rides with her mentally challenged sister, Beth. Over a year¿s time of riding the city buses each day, both Rachel and Beth learn life lessons from each others different life styles and personalities. Rachel learns to take a seat and enjoy the ride of life. She also learns what other people think doesn¿t matter and understanding others can make life worthwhile. This book is a great read, which makes a person wonder if they are living life in the fast lane or taking time to smell the roses. I liked how this book teaches so many lessons, about learning how to understand, having patients and dealing with frustrations as well as making you want to live in the present moment not the future or past. I also loved how it is easy for the reader to connect with both Rachel and Beth. Each character is given characteristics that everyone can relate to. For example with Beth it¿s the feeling of being unwanted at times and Rachel not putting what¿s important in life first. This book is slow at times and is the only reason someone might not want to read this novel. Other than that you should read this book, if you need a little inspiration in life, as well as a few tears. Now that you know about this great book, grab a copy and start reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A few months ago I watched the movie Riding The Bus With My Sister and as I was watching. The movie made many connections to my life since I am a person with a learning disability. Although my disability is more milder then Beths, I feel for Beth Simon as she has been let down by her own family and has trouble fitting in to mainstream society. For many years I had trouble fitting into mainsteam society but it was no where as serve as Beth's struggles. Just like Beth my relationship with my sister has not always been at it best. In some ways I share some of the some persoanlity traits as Beth. So in many ways those annoying traits such as being intustive as put a strain on my relationship with my sister. I would recommand this book to anyone especially someone who has a realtive with mental retardation. Rosie O`Donnelle did a outstanding job plaing the role of Beth Simon. What a found most interseting in both the novel and the movie of how Beth's has made a life for herself by riding on the bus and with that has formed friendships with busdrivers as well as passengers.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book I borrowed from a family member, and it was an easy read. I related with the characters and have already sugested it to my sister. My nephew has a form of autism. My family gets criticized alot when in public. We always feel like we have it bad, until we place ourselves in other peoples' shoes. Good read and heart-warming!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those novels that makes you feel good. It’s about making you stop and enjoy the smaller things in life, it’s about noticing someone other than yourself and it’s about realizing that we’re really all the same, we just go about life differently. In this novel, Rachel is beginning to play a bigger role in her younger sister, Beth’s life. Growing it, Rachel was told numerous times that she would need to help Beth when they got older. Now both in their late thirties, Beth is finally playing an active role in her life, I found this pretty amazing. Beth is mildly retarded and is living on her own. She loves riding the bus and does so every day. I loved Beth’s fascination with the bus, its punctuation, and its individuals. Her life revolves around riding the bus, this line of public transportation. Riding over a dozen buses and over a dozen hours a day, I love watching people and talking to people but doing this every day, that’s a lot! Beth has chosen which drivers she prefers to ride with, she knows which passenger they will be picking up and she knows exactly what time they will be arriving at each stop. But it goes deeper than this; Beth has become a part of some of these individuals’ lives. Not everyone is amused by Beth and her persistent talking. Some people find her annoying and are reluctant to accept her into their circle, for they still see her as different, someone to distant themselves from. On the bus, Beth shares stories with the bus drivers and with passengers sharing their lives with her, gathering friends and acquaintances. I laughed many times as Beth talked on the bus, not afraid to share her opinion, very excited and opinionated about the subject at hand. She’s very vocal and not one to change her mind once it was made up. As Rachel joins Beth on her trips, it was interesting to see how Rachel would see Beth’s world. Beth makes some mind provoking remarks to Rachel that we both reflected upon. She sees the world in a different light; it’s the same world only her view is different. There were many things inside this novel that were moments that made me stop and reflect. I liked listening to Beth; she was knowledgeable, bullheaded at times and funny at others. I thought it was a shame that not all her family couldn’t get to know her, I thought they were missing out on a great person.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon is about the author's true story of riding public transportation with her sister, Beth, who has a mild cognitive disability (referred to in the book as mild retardation).   Does the author's name ring a bell?  It should, because Rachel Simon also wrote The Story of Beautiful Girl, which was fiction.  Beth, Rachel's sister, is capable of living alone and even has a boyfriend.  She lives off of wages from the state because her disability prevents her from being able to hold a full-time job.  However, Rachel, and the rest of the family, feel like Beth has the ability to hold a part-time job, many of which she starts but seems to sabotage so that she can be work-free.   But Beth also is unable to care for herself in certain ways.  She has some illnesses that need addressing, like eye drops, but isn't capable (or doesn't want to) put them in regularly.  She also eats terribly, snacking on junk food and staying away from anything even remotely healthy.  In Riding the Bus with My Sister, Rachel comes along on Beth's obsessive bus-riding journey.  A few times a month, Rachel takes time to drive to her sister and ride along the complicated bus route that Beth has mastered.  Rachel experiences people's welcoming, and disapproval, of Beth in many ways, including in many of the bus drivers.   But other bus drivers have taken a liking to Beth, and through those bus drivers, and the journey she takes, Rachel discovers that the year isn't about helping Beth as much as it is a story about Rachel finding herself.   Riding the Bus with My Sister isn't an exhilarating, can't-put-down kind of read.  But that doesn't make it any less valuable of a book.   What I found most valuable were the life lessons that Rachel learned, lessons and reminders of being a good person, that I could incorporate into my own life.  Thanks for reading,  Rebecca @ Love at First Book
GibbieTG More than 1 year ago
Book was for a Christmas gift but VERY VERY pleased with the service/shipping. Ordered it on-line because nobody had copies and within 2 days it was the UPS box and under the tree a hour later. Will DEFINATELY be using B&N again!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about being self directed.
sp123 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. It really makes you aware of other people's situations in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as an outside reading nonfiction assignment for school. The book was very interesting in terms of concept and very intriguing but i believe it could have had more captivating writing. The writing was simple and easy to understand, but i think simon could have delved a little deeper into the story and how it changed her instead of how she merely retold it in events. The concept is great though, and the book is inspiring based on the lessons and the way beth carried herself. I did get a little frustrated with rachel though! It was interesting with the interludes. Overall, it was a pretty good book but i feel could have been a little more philosophical. I would say take it out of the library to read as it is worth reading but don't pay 15 dollars ;)
penslnamia More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this book, but I was really disapointed. There just was no ups and downs. It just straight lined for me. The book was lovingly written, and I mean nothing negative towards the characters, but the actual plot was non existant.
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Dakota Ogle More than 1 year ago
you have probally thought that if or have wanted a family you wouldnt want a mental child which i am trying to say in a nice nonaffencive way but this book would make you feel comfortable or wanting to be around a person like this it is just that good but if you dont believe me have to ry it out yourselves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sister relationships can be complicated --- this book exams one relationship. Touching and sensitivity written. We come to know both sisters.
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oldeagle More than 1 year ago
From a rough childhood to a point where she begins to accept herself carries the reader through this true story. Rachel commits to riding a bus with her mentally disabled sister, Beth, for a year. Beth rides local busses every day and knows all of the local drivers.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I loved Simon's writing style. So fluid. I must be a terrible person because Beth irritated me more then I felt compassion for her. I wanted to shake her! I wanted to scream GET A JOB! Rachel had the patience of a saint even when she faltered she didn't give up on herself or Beth and I really admired her. I think it was more a story about Rachel then Beth, but never self-serving on Rachel's part. For me, the lesson learned was from Rachel's journey, not Beth's. I thought the family stories were an excellent addition to the bus riding storyline. I liked them more. Having said that I will never look at a developmentally disabled person the same way again, or a bus driver for that matter. It was a touching story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was truly inspiring - Rachel's ability to form such a close relationship with her sister by just becoming more open-minded showed me that can apply not just to understanding disabled people better but all people, especially those whom we may judge too quickly. A great vacation/beach read.