The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

Book - 2017
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One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

Winner of the Stonewall Book Award--Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist

Publisher: New York :, Farrar Straus Giroux,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374303235
Call Number: 364.1555 SL151f
TEEN 364.1555 SLAT
Characteristics: 305 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Fifty-seven bus

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From Library Staff

List - Be Proud
SFPL_Teen May 18, 2018

Based on a real and tragic event in Oakland, two teens from different worlds who would have never met, have a life-changing encounter on the 57 bus.

An unfortunate violent act leaves one teen seriously injured and two Bay Area families trying to heal and move forward with dignity. Sasha’s and Richard’s stories give depth and understanding to gender and neuro differences, and to communities where violence is far too prevalent. These are the hu... Read More »

Dashka Slater’s new book takes us on an exploration of gender identity, adolescent crime and penal racism. Sasha, a white Oakland teen with Asperger’s Syndrome, enjoyed a tight circle of friends. SFPL's May - June 2018 On The Same Page selection.

In Oakland 2013, a teen sets an agender teen's skirt on fire. A journalist looks at both sides of the story.

What led up to an African American teen setting fire to the skirt of an agender teen on an Oakland bus, and the aftermath for both teens and their families. Slater highlights many of our society's current struggles around mental health, race, class, and gender identities. This book comes highly... Read More »


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LPL_CentennialC Jul 23, 2018

This book tells the true story of two teens, Sasha and Richard, and the crime that links them. Sasha is a white teen who attended the local private school and identifies as agender, using they/them pronouns. Richard is a black teen who attended the a public school where the majority of students don’t graduate and had lost multiple friends to murder.

On November 4th, 2013 in Oakland, California, two teens, Sasha and Richard were both riding the 57 bus. Sasha fell asleep. Richard and his friends were playing with a lighter. The lighter caught on Sasha’s skirt and they were engulfed in flames. Sasha spent weeks in hospitals for third degree burns and Richard was charged with hate crimes as an adult at only 16 years old, facing life imprisonment.

This story is complicated and captivating, and everyone will who reads it will walk away having learned something. The book is well-researched, full of interviews with family, text message records, and even poetry interspersed throughout. There are nuanced discussions about gender and sexuality, racial justice, and what it means to really have reconciliation. I've heard lots of folks who said they didn’t like to read non-fiction, but they couldn’t put this book down.

w
WCLSBlaineLibrary
Jun 13, 2018

The 57 Bus is one of the most relevant books I've read in a while. It was a very fast read. I checked out the eBook and read it in a few hours. One of those true stories that every one needs to know about. Highly recommended.

SPPL_Teens Apr 22, 2018

A carefully observed and captivating non-fiction read. Dashka Slater uses her talents as a journalist and writer to propel the reader through the diverse perspectives and players involved in a hate-crime that left agender teen, Sasha, badly burned and the teen assailant, Richard, wondering if his life will be spent in prison. An important and well-written book. A true must-read.

DPLaprilteenservices Apr 18, 2018

A compelling read; the back stories of Sasha and Richard help round out the story of what happened on Bus 57. Excellent pick for high school or young adult book groups.

DMYA Dec 08, 2017

This painful and powerful true story looks at the lives of two teens, who both struggle in different ways after a violent incident on a city bus. The opposing narratives about what happened that day and the impact it had on both their lives makes for an interesting way to tell this story. The book is thought provoking and forces the reader to look at both personal and social beliefs about gender identity, the criminal justice system and racism. This would be a great read in a high school classroom to promote discussion about these heavy and important topics.

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green_tiger_733
Feb 24, 2018

green_tiger_733 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

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