Rachel Simon knew that having a sibling who has a serious intellectual disability had changed her life. But she had no idea that writing a book about the experience would change her life again.
Recalling those early days, Simon says, “I allowed myself only the hope that the book might be well-received and sell enough copies to earn a modest royalty check — $50, say, or, dare I dream it, $100.”
Turns out, she wasn’t dreaming nearly big enough.
On Tuesday, her bestselling memoir, “Riding the Bus With My Sister,” will be reissued in a special 10-year anniversary edition (Grand Central; paperback, $14.99). The book recounts Simon’s efforts to understand the life of her sister by tagging along as the sibling spends her days riding city buses around her home in Pennsylvania.
For both Simon and her sister, Beth, it has been a great ride. Now a staple text among families, teachers, social workers and anyone else interested in the lives of people living with disabilities, “Riding the Bus” has remained continuously in print, and in 2005 it was adapted into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie directed by Anjelica Huston.