Precious Cargo: My Year Of Driving The Kids On School Bus 3077 by Craig DavidsonPrecious Cargo: My Year Of Driving The Kids On School Bus 3077 by Craig Davidson

Precious Cargo: My Year Of Driving The Kids On School Bus 3077

byCraig Davidson

Paperback | April 12, 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.

CRAIG DAVIDSON was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published four books of literary fiction, including Rust and Bone, which was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film of the same name, and Cataract City, which was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Prize, was a national bests...
Title:Precious Cargo: My Year Of Driving The Kids On School Bus 3077Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.3 × 5.7 × 0.8 inPublished:April 12, 2016Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345810511

ISBN - 13:9780345810519

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Really great read, shows what the life of a kid with a disability is really like, and how everyone should be treating these kids. Inspiring.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant This is a funny, happy-go-lucky read that takes you on a rollercoaster
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Important, touching and honest I’m so glad this book was selected for the CBC Canada’s Reads long list (short list isn’t out yet so maybe it made that too...). It is a good book for opening our eyes to people of different abilities and for helping individuals understand that everyone has something special to share with the world - if we look take the time to look.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book to read with your kids This is a wonderful book to introduce your pre-teen to the differences in the world. I really appreciated Davidson's perspective, and am thankful that he writes what he knows about.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartwarming Craig's year of driving a school bus with special needs children was engaging. And having lived in Calgary, I could relate to his geographical comments. I wish all children could have a Craig driving their bus! Enjoy discovering new (to me!) Canadian authors.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really great read This read is really easy and a humble one. Met the author - he is fabulous.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting perspective #plumreview As a retired teacher who taught special needs students for 32 years, this was such an interesting perspective from an important person in their lives. At times it was sad, but mostly, this book was humourous and honest.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny, emotional and informative Touching and insightful account of the author's year driving the school bus for disabled children - funny, touching, and informative. 3.75/5
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching As a fan of Davidson's edgier work, I was not disappointed with this heartwarming memoir. I also found that this was an accurate and nuanced portrayal of people with special needs. He really seeks to understand and appreciate the children.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Honest and heartwarming I am a special education teacher and absolutely loved this book. Craig describes the students honestly but in a tactful and respectful way. The book accurately describes what driving a special education bus would be like.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The wheels on the bus.... 3.5 Craig Davidson's latest book is a memoir entitled Precious Cargo: My Year Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077. Davidson has achieved success as an author numerous times. But at one point, he was struggling to keep the coffers filled. And so...."I took a job driving a school because I was penniless; it was that simple." But Davidson ended up finding more than monetary gain. He drove Route 412. "Special needs. Six students. One wheelchair, five walks." Davidson started keeping notes (with permission from the families) on his charges, his thoughts, their interactions - and the changes that year brought. Those notes are this book. "Anytime those kids said something hilarious or quizzical or profane or insightful or humane - well, I'd rush to my notebook (not while active driving!) and jot it down." In the beginning Davidson is unsure as to how this job will work out, but he soon becomes invested in his charges - and more involved with one student outside of the bus. We come to know each student, their personalities and their peccadilloes. Davidson is a staunch vocal (and physical) defender of the 3077 kids, but soon comes realize that that it is his own perceptions, uneasiness and awkwardness around the disabled that are fueling his temper. When he lets that go, the 'disabled kids' that he's driving lose that descriptor for him and simply become 'kids.' Kudos to Davidson for being so honest in describing his own behaviours - a few of actions did surprise me. In some ways, Davidson is just as fragile that year as some his charges. And over the year, Davidson finds himself changed..."If I was broken, then the bus fixed me. You guys fixed me. The physical truth is that I drove you. The deeper truth is that you drove me. Drove me to step out of my own sickened skin, to stop feeling sorry for myself and to see the world for its beauties more than it's agonies..." Excerpts from an unpublished novel called The Seekers are interspersed between chapters - it's easy to see the inspiration and metaphorical matches for the kids on Route 412. I'm a bit disappointed that Davidson's contact with the riders ended at the end of that school year. I would have liked to know where the kids are today - especially Jake, who described Craig as his 'older brother.' As they say, the best stories in life are the real ones. And this recounting of a year in the life of a school bus driver and his riders is a darn good one.
Date published: 2016-04-22

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Craig Davidson’s Precious Cargo [is] an almost singular accomplishment—a work of non-fiction that’s a pleasure to read, despite being about an able-bodied man who decides to hang out with disabled people. The book’s skillfulness shouldn’t be a surprise. Toronto-born Davidson is an accomplished novelist: his most recent, Cataract City, was shortlisted for the Giller prize while his first book of stories, Rust and Bone, became a harrowing Golden Globes-nominated film. . . . [He] knows how to kick a story along. . . . Davidson has a sharp ear for dialogue, and the conversations he has on the bus are the best parts of his book.” —Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail   “Precious Cargo . . . is a thoroughly entertaining, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a writer. . . . Precious Cargo is the best kind of memoir: light-hearted despite its often serious content, erudite, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. It’s also damned funny.” —Quill & Quire   “From the start, this book is unique. . . . Precious Cargo is a tale of growth and redemption. . . . [Precious Cargo] is shot through with images both uproarious . . . and tender-hearted. Together, they depict Davidson’s unsentimental education, and offer insight on how best to suffer life’s slings and arrows.” —Maclean’s   “[Precious Cargo is a] remarkably uplifting memoir. . . . At its essence, Precious Cargo is an anthem to self-acceptance.” —Toronto Star   “Craig Davidson’s new memoir reveals poignant truths about his year as a Calgary school-bus driver. . . . [Precious Cargo mixes] personal revelation with a sweet and often funny story about [Davidson’s] bond with the five children on his route. . . . Davidson’s portrayal of himself is often comically self-deprecating and always witheringly honest.” —Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald“The normally hard-hitting Craig Davidson shifts gears into more tender and uplifting territory with his memoir. . . . Davidson doesn’t sugar-coat anything—[which is] perhaps the memoir’s greatest strength. . . . [A] welcome dose of positivity, handled with just as much skill as you’d expect from a writer of this calibre.” —Winnipeg Free Press