TORONTO — A fiction author here has published a memoir about his year as a special-needs school bus driver, the Toronto Star reports.

In Precious Cargo, Craig Davidson recounts the experiences he had during the year he spent as a school bus driver for five special-needs students in middle school and high school, according to the newspaper. Davidson took the job in 2008 when he was struggling as a fiction writer. The students he drove had conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, and Fragile X syndrome.

Over the course of the year, he listened to and befriended his passengers. Like Davidson, the students also had a passion for telling stories. He wrote down the exchanges that he had with them, working on capturing all aspects of the students’ spirit, which included funny, compassionate, and occasionally, mean-spirited episodes, according to the Toronto Star. He changed the names and identifying characteristics of the students in the book, and still keeps in touch with one of the students he met during that year.

Meanwhile, he has become a very successful author over the years. His short story collection Rust and Bone was made into a film, and his novel Cataract City was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Toronto Star reports. Additionally, his next book includes another story based on an event that happened on his school bus route, which wasn’t included in Precious Cargo.

To read the full story, go here.

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