Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo

My Year of Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077

eBook - 2016
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For readers of Kristine Barnett's The Spark, Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree and Ian Brown's The Boy in the Moon, here is a heartfelt, funny and surprising memoir about one year spent driving a bus full of children with special needs.With his last novel, Cataract City, Craig Davidson established himself as one of our most talented novelists. But before writing that novel and before his previous work, Rust and Bone, was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film, Davidson experienced a period of poverty, apparent failure and despair. In this new work of riveting and timely non-fiction, Davidson tells the unvarnished story of one transformative year in his life and of his unlikely relationships with a handful of unique and vibrant children who were, to his initial astonishment and bewilderment, and eventual delight, placed in his care for a couple of hours each day—the kids on school bus 3077. One morning in 2008, desperate and impoverished while trying unsuccessfully to write, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year. Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and unexpected reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9780345810533
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Feb 13, 2017

I quite liked this book, which is a very light read. I could have done without the 'novelisation' sections; they didn't add anything. And I found I didn't care about his life enough to keep reading about it; I wanted to hear about the kids.

Oct 16, 2016

A wonderful read about the bus driver who was able to see that the individual worth of each passenger was far more important than any of the challenges they had to face. He is a beacon of kindness and patience.
Highly recommend.

Jul 29, 2016

A heartwarming, well-written book of bus stories.


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Apr 19, 2016

"Precious Cargo" is a memoir of the year that the author worked as the bus driver of a small group of special-needs students. Davidson became not just a driver but also a mentor and friend to his teenage passengers, especially the aspiring writer, Jake.


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Nov 02, 2016

"Bullying is at its root about social positioning ... The (five disabled) kids on my bus occupied the lowest rung on the food chain ... But some of the kids at their schools ... hadn't got the memo that reads: ' You don't hunt the easy meat.' ... [But after confronting kids who mocked the bus and shouted slurs and laughed] It took a while for me to understand that most of the kids on my bus were perfectly happy to be on it. .... So the problem was one of perspective - my own. ... As Vincent said: 'It makes them look stupid, not us.'" (p. 86-92)

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