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Download Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey Audiobook, by Rachel Simon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,582 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Simon Narrator: Rachel Simon Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781611137507
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Beth is a spirited woman with an intellectual disability who spends nearly every day riding the buses in her Pennsylvania city. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. Beth, who lives independently and has a boyfriend, is a joyful, endearing, and feisty individual. Her single sister, Rachel, a writer and professor, masks her emotional isolation and loneliness behind her hyperbusy schedule. When Beth asks Rachel to accompany her on the buses for one year, they take a transcendent journey that changes Rachel’s life in incredible ways, leads her to accept her sister at long last—and teaches her to slow down and enjoy the ride.

Rachel Simon’s memoir Riding the Bus with My Sister was made into a television movie starring Rosie O’Donnell and Andie McDowell, directed by Anjelica Huston.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An amazing book…It touched my soul.”  

    Rosie O'Donnell

  • A heartwarming, life-affirming journey through both the present and the past... Read this book. It might just change your life.—Boston Herald
  • An amazing book... It touched my soul.—Rosie O'Donnell
  • Clear writing and repeated conversations allow readers to hear the voices of both sisters. There is much to mull over, to enjoy, and to savor in this book.
    School Library Journal
  • This perceptive, uplifting chronicle shows how much Simon, a creative writing professor at Bryn Mawr College, had to learn from her mentally retarded sister, Beth, about life, love and happiness.... Rachel juxtaposes this with the story of their childhood, including the dissolution of their parents' marriage and the devastating abandonment by their mother, the effect of which is tied poignantly to the sisters' present relationship. Although she is honest about the frustrations of relating to her stubborn sister, Rachel comes to a new appreciation of her, and it is a pleasure for readers to share in that discovery.—Publishers Weekly
  • “A heartwarming, life-affirming journey through both the present and the past… Read this book. It might just change your life.”

    Boston Herald

  • “Stirring…authentic and impressive, an enriching story of reconciliation and rediscovery. A terrific, heartwarming ride.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Clear writing and repeated conversations allow readers to hear the voices of both sisters. There is much to mull over, to enjoy, and to savor in this book.”

    Library Journal

  • “[A] perceptive, uplifting chronicle.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Clear writing and repeated conversations allow readers to hear the voices of both sisters. There is much to mull over, to enjoy, and to savor in this book.”

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krystal | 2/20/2014

    " I very much liked this book. Reading of the way her sister lives and how she manages to cope with her disability, inspires the reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellyn | 2/18/2014

    " The author's sister, Beth, is a lively, colorful woman with an intellectual disability who spends her days riding the buses in her mid-size Pennsylvania town. When Beth invites Rachel to accompany her on the buses a few days a month for one year, Rachel agrees, and this book chronicles that year as Rachel enters her sister's world and comes to know the bus drivers who make up Beth's own little community. In alternating chapters, Rachel reflects back on her childhood with Beth and on their family story. I thought this book was a really insightful and fascinating look at life with an intellectual disability and its impact on the entire family. It's a very honest book, in terms of both the author's and society's reactions to Beth, both positive and negative, and I appreciated that; it couldn't have been an easy book to write, and I thought it was both real and nonjudgmental. My only complaint was that I had a hard time keeping all of the drivers straight, and I also thought that some of them seemed a bit too good to be true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 2/18/2014

    " An must read for siblings/parents of a mentally disabled family member. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 2/9/2014

    " As a parent of a child with special needs, there were some scenes that were a little too close to home for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne Baltzer | 2/8/2014

    " Great book, well written. Details the difficult life of two sisters who came through very tough times to become self fulfilled adults. Non fiction "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 2/7/2014

    " saw the movie too, nice little story, not a fan of rosie o. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra Kettelhut | 1/19/2014

    " I thought this we a really nice story of a journey one woman's life takes with a mentally handicapped sister. I love true stories, and this was one about a topic I am not all that familiar with. It really explores the emotion that a sister feels, good and bad, towards trying to understand life with her sister, and her own life as well. This novel gave me a new appreciation for people with mental disabilities, which I am sure was one of the reasons she wrote it. Either way, I thought this book was a success and a joy to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim W. | 1/13/2014

    " There are three plot lines in this memoir - (1) the life of the sister with mental retardation who rides the buses (2) the life of the author who is finding herself and (3) the backstory of the family and the two other siblings. The book does a nice job intertwining all three together into a neat little package. I never developed any affinity for either the author or her sister because Simon was so intent on preserving privacy that she left out a lot of the details that would have made me care. While admirable, I would have liked to have learned more about Beth's relationship with Jessie, her boyfriend who also has mental retardation. What little was disclosed was very sweet and endearing. The author had no problem sharing details about her and the family harping on Beth to get a job and be more "productive" than just riding buses. Simon spent most of the book complaining about how her sister talked too much, didn't understand social norms like not talking so much and so loud, couldn't hold a job, etc... that when Simon wrapped up the book with two pages gushing about how much she learned from Beth, it just fell flat in my eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 1/11/2014

    " thought it was an excellent story of growing up with a family member who has a disability. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/4/2014

    " I enjoyed the authors honesty. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda North | 12/24/2013

    " Kind of a slow book. I felt like there wasn't anything too exciting in this book and there were things I felt could have been left out that had no real part to the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Agatha | 12/16/2013

    " Memoir/inspirational. Another good one by Rachel Simon! Would recommend both this and BUILDING A HOME WTIH MY HUSBAND. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 12/10/2013

    " A great story of someone with mental challenges who has a loyal sister to help her through although she proves that she is pretty self sufficient herself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rtamura | 8/30/2013

    " A good quick reading book that gives you time to reflect on mental retardation and what it might mean and how it might manifest itself (publicly and privately). Never judge a person or book by its cover or clothing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 7/4/2013

    " It reminds me a lot of my mother and her stories about her bus rides with her mentally disabled sister. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindy | 5/20/2013

    " Simon takes us to the areas where we see a marginalized society or subculture from a new perspective. Seeing with new awareness brings about the change in society that offers more compassion and less judgment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie Larkin | 1/29/2013

    " I loved this book. I was bawling by the end of it. Beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/16/2012

    " There are lessons to be learned from reading this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tonda | 11/25/2012

    " Loved this book, course things like that always hit home. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 10/13/2012

    " A good book for anybody that has a family member with mental illness. I needed this reminder... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 9/21/2012

    " I appreciated the author's honesty in her struggle to deal with and get to know her mentally disabled sister. There were some good insights on the resiliency of the human spirit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toria | 8/20/2012

    " This book gives the reader an insight into the life of an adult with mental disabilities and her sister. The sister decided to take a year long journey with her sister with disabilities and finds herself again in the process. It is a very touching and well written book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget Slattery | 8/16/2012

    " This might be a good book to grab some topics from for a support group: bullying, caring for a sibling, coping with differences, integrating individuals with developmental disabilities into the community, and community support. A nice story and a quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 8/7/2012

    " I remember when this movie came out wanting to see it, unfortunatly I didn't get to watch it. Reading the book was good though. Still hunting for the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachie | 7/8/2012

    " so sweet, i love memoirs. it was nice to be able to understand what its like to grow up with someone with retardation. i think everyone should except and become friends with strangers its sad that you can walk by the same person every day and not know who they are "

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About the Author
Author Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon is an award-winning author and nationally known public speaker. She is best known for her bestselling memoir Riding The Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. Her other works include the New York Times bestseller The Story of a Beautiful Girl, The Writer’s Survival Guide, The Magic Touch, and others. Her books are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.