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Precious Cargo: My Year of Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,737 ratings  ·  382 reviews
Surprising and revelatory non-fiction from a talented young writer whose last book, Cataract City, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Prize, and was a Globe Best Book and national bestseller.

With his last novel, Cataract City, Craig Davidson established himself as one of our most talented novelists. But in his early thirties, before writing that nov
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Knopf Canada
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Andre Guimond It shows here on Amazon.COM

Give it a read, you'll love it as a bus driver! I'm almost halfway through and I'm…more
It shows here on Amazon.COM

Give it a read, you'll love it as a bus driver! I'm almost halfway through and I'm really enjoying it!(less)
Andre Guimond "The Boat People" by Sharon Bala, recently made the Canada Reads Long List. Its also receiving a lot of press. It's not a Memoir per say, mind you, it…more"The Boat People" by Sharon Bala, recently made the Canada Reads Long List. Its also receiving a lot of press. It's not a Memoir per say, mind you, its based on current events. I haven't read it, but have heard interviews with the author and it sounds compelling!

Canada Reads 2018 Long List has many promising pieces that might answer your question:

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Glenn Sumi
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Precious Cargo is Canadian novelist Craig Davidson’s memoir about the year he spent driving a school bus for special needs students. At the time, Davidson was at a low point in his life and career. After early success (his first book of stories and novel were bought by an agent), he was floundering, broke, suffering from writer’s block, and living alone in a basement apartment in Calgary. He saw a flyer (!) for driving the bus, went for an interview, received some training and before long he was ...more
Thomas Green
I was sitting on the edge of my seat as Craig Davidson was previewing raw, unpublished writing about piloting a school bus with special needs children in Calgary and the bonds he formed with his “cargo”. It was a 2015 reading. I was transfixed. I was mesmerized. These children provided him an unforgettable experience and a much needed lift as he was struggling through some dark times. And, I wanted more.

I got more with the release of “Precious Cargo” and the book was not a continuation of his re
What a beautiful surprise!

Read it! Read this book! It was funny and fantastic and so well written. I laughed so hard I spit out my food at one point. I shed a tear near the end. I felt everything, every sentence, travel right up inside my veins and straight into my heart.

The book is endearing and wonderful. It's the *nicest* book I have ever read -- and that's truly a compliment. It's a book filled with heart and soul and generous insight and wonder. I'm going to be giving it everyone this yea
In 2008 Craig Davidson was looking for work to put food on his table and fuel in his vehicle, when he spied an advertisement for a School Bus Driver - No Experience Needed. He applied for the job and was successful in getting the job. He humourously relates his story in PRECIOUS CARGO: MY YEAR OF DRIVING THE KIDS ON SCHOOL BUS 3077.
This is the extraordinary story of that year and how his evolving relationships with the physically, socially, and emotionally challenged children on School Bus 3077
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh! That was a little torturous to be Honest!
The write up sounded awesome but once reading I realized he just need to churn out a book to his publisher! I hardly paid attention past halfway! The narrative is whiny and self loathing and really more about what a loser he was than about the kids
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
It’s not often that “nonfiction” and “can’t put it down” are used to describe the same book (at least not for me), but this book was just so readable. It’s charming, heartwarming, and very funny.
Author Craig Davidson had been having trouble making ends meet when he took a chance on a job posting for a school bus driver for special needs kids. Originally written as a piece for Avenue magazine, Craig expanded his experience into a full length memoir. Davidson rounds out the book by adding in struggles he faced early in his writing career, as well as snippets from an unpublished novel, The Seekers.

When I attended one of Davidson’s readings last year in Halifax, he read from a yet unpublish
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
By far the weakest of the Canada Reads book. It's alturism-porn, written in a way the author certainly feels is respectful to the special needs kids he drove around for a year, but comes off as degrading and condescending. You don't get a cookie for being a decent human being, and this book screams out "give me a cookie." better not win. ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a meaningful and heart warming story. It stirs up the good emotions and humble thoughts. I highly recommend for a balanced dose of humor and humility.
❀ Susan G
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

Precious Cargo had been sitting on my shelf since I met Craig Davidson at the Grimsby Author Series in November 2016. I picked it up again when I met Craig at the One Book One Brant Event in April 2017 which united the community to read his novel, Cataract City. The third time, I was reminded to pick up Precious Cargo was when it was announced as part of the 2018 Canada Reads short-list. It seemed appropriate that I had procrastinated reading this gem unti
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

In Precious Cargo, Craig Davidson (also known by his pseudonym, Nick Cutter) recounts the year he spent driving a bus for a group of children and teens with disabilities. Down on his luck and strapped for cash, Davidson takes the first job he can get, not knowing how impactful his experience will be and how much he will learn about disability and how disabled folks are treated in an able-bodied world. Davidson confronts his own preconceived notions of disability, but I wish he had dug
Samantha Mitchell
There aren’t many times I can count where I a) binge read a book and b) forget where I am because I’m so invested. Especially for a non-fiction. I loved this story, hilarious and real, but the five star rating comes from the relationship I felt to Jake. The writer exposes the feeling of going from ‘normal’ to ‘disabled’ in a way I’ve never sat down and thought about before. The writer says people clear their way for Jake, pity him, and he always feeling like everyone is watching him - even when ...more
Kristina Abretti
I rarely give 5 stars but found this to be one of the most beautiful and heartfelt books I've read in a long time. It was a pleasure reading about the kids on Bus 3077 - all of their quirks and stories and mannerisms - I laughed out loud and genuinely had moments where I paused to re-read certain quotes that I knew would - and should - stick with me (sometimes I even read them to Graham!) I teared up when to Craig they became "kids, same as any other kids," and kids who changed his life at that. ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadareads-2018
Touching story that is both funny and sad, like life itself.
Robin Reynolds
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Broke after some early success as a writer, Craig Davidson was desperate for any job that could provide some income. He had just applied for, and not gotten, a Lunch Supervisor position, when he found a flyer for bus drivers wanted. He called, and wound up driving a “short bus” with six special needs children.

I was a bit astounded at how easily he was hired to drive a school bus. I guess I just assumed that the drivers who pilot our kids around go through a rigorous screening process first. Of
Brandon Forsyth
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally heartwarming. I read this slowly, about a chapter a day, as this year's Canada Reads debates were being held, and slowly started to root for this one. I feel like a more compassionate human being for having read this beautiful little book, and while the Canada Reads panelists ultimately chose FORGIVENESS, I think this deserves to be widely read as well. ...more
Apr 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
while i really liked the parts davidson wrote about himself, especially his writing and his frustrations with his image of himself as a writer, it definitely occasionally strayed into the pitfalls of a book written by an able-bodied person about disabled people: references to how inspiring the kids were because of their disabilities. it worked best when davidson wasn't trying to make a point about how we're all people on the inside and the same despite our differences, and instead just told stor ...more
Barth Siemens
Feb 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Barth by: Canada Reads 2018 longlist
4 Feb 2018 I put the book down one quarter of the way in because, as I turned the page, I felt my gorge rise. He seriously likes the sound of his own voice—not in a good way.

12 Feb 2018 I realized upon further reflection that my visceral reaction is probably influenced by my feelings by another author, who lives in North Vancouver. I liked his writing well enough until I met him; then I couldn't stand him or his writing. No, I won't acknowledge his name.

Sad really, because I might have enjoyed t
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-author
This is a personal memoir about a year the author spent driving some middle school and high school aged kids with disabilities on a school bus. The author is very open and honest about his own views and the personal growth he experienced from his daily contact with thee kids and how much they taught him about themselves and more importantly his own self.

Woven within the memoir is excerpts from a science fiction story the author had written featuring thee kids as the hero of the story.
I really loved this book. I became very wrapped up in the lives of the students. I admit I slowed down my reading in the end because I didn't want the story to end - knowing that I wouldn't have an ending to the students lives in that I would not know how they went on with their lives - what happened to them?

Also a thank you to Canada Reads. I never would have picked up this book otherwise.
Gina Morphy
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really couldn’t fault this book for anything. Craig Davidson writes so beautifully and I feel grateful to have shared in even a tiny sliver of the joy that the students on Bus 3077 gave him. The quirks and general ‘imperfections’ associated with each child made me smile as I’ve seen them in children and young adults before. I felt as if I knew the gang personally and became invested quite quickly. I was a little put off by the excerpts from ‘The Seekers’, but came to appreciate it for what it ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for my beloved Canada Reads competition, I would never have picked this up. Call me cynical, but stories that are hopeful and quaint are just not my thing (I'm not sure what this says about me). The reason I love Canada Reads is that it forces me to read books that aren't in my wheelhouse, and I found myself engrossed in this memoir in spite of my initial resistance. I was surprised when I flipped the book over to see that author Craig Davidson writes horror fiction under a pseudonym that ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two down, three to go. A light but compelling read, I wish there was a little more depth there but I think this could be eye-opening for people who haven’t met many disabled people. #canadareads2018
"Remember, we aren't driving potatoes!"
A sweet memoir that's not saccharine, an honest story of a year of "everydays" and a depiction of strength via vulnerability. The author portrays the special needs kids on his bus with incredible likeness ... defining them by their full life, creativity, interests & personality. The kids on the bus are multi-faceted and the author challenges the reader not to define people by their disability but to see the whole person.

I loved reading about the other bus
I liked it! Of course I am biased because my son is 15-year old with autism and is non-verbal, like Gavin! And over the years our family has been on the receiving end of strange looks, wherever we go, because of my son's behaviour. The author, by spending a year with these special needs kids, discovered how "precious" these kids truly were. Well, kudos to him! ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Had Craig Davidson worked a little harder on this book, it could have been a real force. I personally wanted to read it because I thought it would be a real, accessible way to better understand a part of our society that I don't know much about. Indeed, the best parts of the story were rooted in the gritty details of his daily interactions with the special needs students he spent so much time with. The dialogue was great, and at times I laughed out loud, was touched, and felt angry, so he was re ...more
This book is about a man forced to re-evaluate the way he views himself and the world around him.

Precious Cargo is a memoir of the year Davidson spent driving school bus, the only job he could find after having a book deal fall through and his dreams of being a "real writer" seemed dashed to bits.
But rather than driving just any old bus, Davidson is assigned a route with 5 special needs students.

It isn't a woe-is-me-I'm-a-failed-author story, although he clearly felt that way at the time. It
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I absolutely loved this book. Craig Davidson is done and out. His writing career doesn't receive the accolades he's expected. He is isolated and alone in Calgary. And he takes a job driving a school bus for special needs kids for one year. Over the course of the year, the experience changes him and he learns a lot about himself and about the kids he drives on the bus.

This book was so honest, respectful, thoughtful and compassionate. I cried near the ending and I rarely cry when I'm reading. I ju
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. It was funny, fun, compassionate and honest. I laughed out loud many times and came away with a full heart after reading about the relationships of this team of people - adult and young adults. The individual stories were beautifully told. These were presented as real life events written down when they happened and shared later in this book. I would definitely recommend this read to others.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
What a gem of a book? Not one I would have picked up by choice and just goes to show that you should try something new once in a while! This was instantly readable and the portraits the author creates of the five children are beautiful. His frustrations at the attitudes of those around him come across so well and I loved the sense of humour that runs throughout the book. Would have loved more photos, but the few that are there are wonderful.

Highly recommended.
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Oakville Reads: Precious Cargo: My Year Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077 - Craig Davidson 1 17 Aug 21, 2018 07:09AM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: Final Thoughts 3 15 Jun 06, 2017 11:14AM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: High School 1 2 May 26, 2017 06:44AM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: Special Needs 7 8 May 18, 2017 01:14PM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: Bullying 1 7 May 18, 2017 01:10PM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: Sense of Purpose 5 8 May 16, 2017 12:03PM  
SCPL Online NonFi...: Introduction 3 8 May 16, 2017 11:31AM  

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Craig Davidson is a Canadian author of short stories and novels, who has published work under both his own name and the pen names Patrick Lestewka and Nick Cutter

Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was raised in Calgary and St. Catharines.

His first short story collection, Rust and Bone, was published in September 2005 by Penguin Books Canada, and was a finalist for the 2006 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. S

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“You and I are cobbled out of carbon cells that were once other things entirely. We could have a carbon cell in one of our elbows that was once part of a trilobite's tail. Or a cell from Atilla the Hun's moustache in our eye. Or an ancient lotus petal in our tonsils.” 4 likes
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