Palmetto Publishing

Publication Date:

Copyright Date:




Get the best author info and savings on services when you subscribe!

IndieReader is the ultimate resource for indie authors! We have years of great content and how-tos, services geared for self-published authors that help you promote your work, and much more. Subscribe today, and you’ll always be ahead of the curve.


By Bruce Beryl Fisher

IR Rating:
Poignant, nostalgic, engaging and atmospheric, Bruce Beryl Fisher's TAKING THE SHORT BUS: Teacher, I Need You, is an homage to a bygone era.
A time-period accurate coming-of-age story and a humorous look at special education in the mid-1970s that avoids rose-colored glasses.

TAKING THE SHORT BUS: Teacher, I Need You drops readers into the world of 18-year-old Eric Blum in Philadelphia circa 1974. He is a student at Noah Webster High, a progressive school for students with learning disabilities. Eric himself once suffered from severe dyslexia, and in the past four years has progressed from nearly illiterate to reading at grade level while overcoming a mental breakdown caused by the death of his brother in the Vietnam War. In this world of disco and echoes of the late ‘60s social movements, Eric tries to find a way out of his school and into the real world. Distressed by the annual promises of “Next Year, next year” the book details his attempts to prove himself ready for the real world or a college career by taking on part-time jobs, but with the standard amount of teenage rebellion.

Through excellent, engaging storytelling, author Bruce Beryl Fisher details Eric’s coming of age, including his less than fairytale love life, including a very teenage (and almost consummated) crush on his history teacher, Carol, flings with other girls his age, and a tragic loss of an ex-girlfriend to the effects of addiction. The book also shows Eric’s tentative steps into the world of adult employment–from a gig full of pranks with his cousin Opie, to his first encounter with union politics at a job that almost costs him his life. Eric’s story is one of growth and change at the cusp of adulthood when love is its most passionate, school is its most despised, and life is full of opportunities ripe for the taking. The cast of characters are vivid, real and beautifully depicted, while the setting of Philadelphia in the 70s is rich and detailed.

TAKING THE SHORT BUS also calls on readers to consider how much special education, and indeed the entire education system, has changed and evolved in the nearly fifty years since the book’s time period. In the introduction, the author makes it clear that he disapproves of many of the shifts and looks back positively to this era, but invites the reader to investigate their own opinion. Note that the author utilizes the vocabulary and lingo of the day, which includes more than a few slurs. Reader’s who are sensitive to such language should perhaps avoid this book.

Poignant, nostalgic, engaging and atmospheric, Bruce Beryl Fisher’s TAKING THE SHORT BUS: Teacher, I Need You, is an homage to a bygone era.

~Patrick McShane for IndieReader

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that IndieReader may make a commission if you use these links to make a purchase. As an Amazon Affiliate, IndieReader may make commission on qualifying purchase.