Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Summer on the Short Bus"

Bethany Crandell writes young adult novels because the feelings that come with life's "first" times are too good not to relive again and again. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters.

Crandell applied the Page 69 Test to Summer on the Short Bus, her debut novel, and reported the following:
Cricket Montgomery would rather gnaw off her own fingers than be caught dead inside a WalMart, so you can imagine her disgust when she learns she’ll be spending her summer working at a camp for handicapped teenagers.

On page 69, we meet up with Cricket and the gang from Camp-I-Can at a late night bonfire. Cricket’s already working on escaping handicapped hell once these campers go to bed, but getting them there could prove to be a trickier undertaking than she planned. The sarcasm and tone is pretty spot-on for the rest of the book. All things said, I’d say this definitely passes the page 69 test.
“Are you going to tuck us in?” Claire asks.

“You’re kidding right?”

They shake their heads.

“Aren’t you guys like thirteen?”

“Fourteeeeeen,” Meredith answers.

“Fine, fourteen. Whatever. Don’t you think you’re a little too old to get tucked in?”

“No,” Claire answers quickly.

I turn to Fantine hoping she’ll confirm that my nighttime duties to not include bedtime stories, but she’s too busy dealing with her own campers to offer me any help.

“Ugh, fine,” I say. “I’ll do it, just stop talking about it.” Not like I’ll be around to do it again.

“Yay!” Claire shouts and pumps her first in the air. “Chirp! Chirp! Cricket’s putting us to bed. Cricket’s putting us to bed!”

Before I can say, “chirp again and die,” the commotion of movie night starts up all over again. Meredith is popping wheelies in the dirt, yelling, “Cricket is the bedtime queeeeeen!” while Robyn, who made a miraculous recovery thanks to a bottle of Pepto, suddenly joins the festivities and is clapping her hands together, cackling like a hyena.

“Hey, what’s going on over there?” Quinn’s voice suddenly emerges from the other side of the dwindling campfire. “Are you trying to wake the dead?”

“Cricket’s putting us to bed!” Claire calls back.
Visit Bethany Crandell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue