Bertram drives his bus every morning and afternoon for a very special crew. Some don't talk, some can't walk; everyone is different in some way or another. But in spite of the barriers that set these passengers apart, each one has his own or her own story to tell.
For Rebecca, even though she won't be able to wear her pink bridesmaid's dress, the most exciting event of the year is her beloved sister's wedding. Micky, trapped in a crumpled body and unable to speak, tells of his desire to be independent and his frustration with the suffocating love of his mother. Jonathan wants more than anything in the world to be useful—and gets his chance one day in church. Fleur, quiet and pretty, has an astonishing reserve of inner strength. Her story reveals how she came to be loved by a family who accepts her as she is.
The Bus People by Rachel Anderson is an unusual collection of stories about mentally handicapped children, told with great sensitivity and humor by an author who is herself the mother of a mentally handicapped child.
Every day, Bertram, a bus driver, makes his ``fruit-cake'' run, delivering seven severely handicapped children to and from their school. The backgrounds and conflicts of each of his passengers is touchingly related in this unique collection of stories focusing on family relationships. Vignettes dealing with each character in turn reveal how some of the students have been scarred by abusive or overprotective guardians, while others, the recipients of unconditional love and acceptance, have gained high self-esteem. Perhaps most poignant are the stories of Fleur, a foster child who has retreated into a world of science, and brain-injured Thoby, whose response to music is discovered by his devoted sister. Anderson's ability to intuit and communicate the thoughts of her characters is nothing less than remarkable. Rarely sentimentalizing or even labeling their disabilities, she provides a perceptive study of their attitudes and capacities. Ages 10-up.