Taking the Short Bus: Teacher, I Need You
by Bruce Beryl Fisher
Palmetto Publishing

"Eric had always addressed his school as retarded, but to hear it from somebody else. A family member."

This book relates the story of eighteen-year-old Eric Blum. Although he is diagnosed with dyslexia, the public school system fails him when they do not help him with his learning disability. In response, his parents transfer him to a private school called Noah Webster Preparatory, a school for special needs. During his time at the school, Eric knows he can count on his history teacher, Carole Schor, as she is always supportive. However, after spending four years at Noah Webster, Eric feels he has conquered dyslexia. The school needs to let him go. But the teachers think Eric is not ready to be confronted with the real world. Throughout this journey, he will try to break free from this school by any means necessary.

Fisher dives into Eric’s emotions when confronted with unsettling situations. For instance, this is shown when the author describes the scene where Eric finds out that his ex-girlfriend, Alice, died in a fatal accident. The narrative deftly explores the physical and emotional pain that Eric goes through at this point. At that moment, the protagonist realizes he still has feelings for Alice. He thought he had moved on, but he was wrong. Alice’s passing shocks him and makes him realize his true feelings. Fisher successfully gives a detailed and realistic account of Eric’s psychological state as he processes this. As another example, throughout the novel the author underlines Eric’s frustration about being stuck in the school and wanting to leave it as soon as possible. Readers will appreciate watching the protagonist embark on this ride to find his voice and achieve his goals.

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