The 57 Bus
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.

The 57 Bus Details

TitleThe 57 Bus
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
ISBN-139780374303235
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Glbt, Crime, True Crime

The 57 Bus Review

  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. In November of 2013 in Oakland, California, an agender teenager riding the 57 bus was set on fire. In an instant – with a flicker of flame and a reckless lapse in judgement – the lives of two teenagers were changed forever. Using information garnered from interviews, social media, public records, and surveillance videos, journalist Dashka Slater expands - in an unbiased manner - on her article published in Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. In November of 2013 in Oakland, California, an agender teenager riding the 57 bus was set on fire. In an instant – with a flicker of flame and a reckless lapse in judgement – the lives of two teenagers were changed forever. Using information garnered from interviews, social media, public records, and surveillance videos, journalist Dashka Slater expands - in an unbiased manner - on her article published in the New York Times Magazine in January of 2015.Sasha is a white teen from a middle-class family who attends private school. In terms of sexual orientation, Sasha identifies as neither male nor female. Slater capitalizes on the opportunity to give a comprehensive introduction on the myriad terms used to describe a person's gender, sex, and sexuality. While touching on Sasha’s fascination with language, Slater gently segues into an explanation for the pronouns an agender person prefers. We care a lot about gender, and English reflects that in its pronouns – she or he, her or him, his or hers. You might think this is just how languages work in the real world, but there are many languages on earth that are basically gender neutral, using the same word for he, she and it, or not using pronouns at all. [. . .] English, on the other hand, poses a challenge for people like Sasha who don’t see themselves fitting into neat either/or categories like male or female. Sasha, like many gender-nonconforming people, asks people to use the pronoun they. It might feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it.*Richard is a black teen who attends public school and lives with his mother, Jasmine, in a crime-riddled neighborhood. Jasmine worried about Richard. Prayed. Prayed he’d graduate from high school. Prayed he wouldn’t become a parent as early as she had. Prayed he’d be safe from all the dangers that lurked for a young black man in Oakland – guns and crime and gangs and cops. Prayed he’d stay out of trouble. Prayed he’d survive.* Even though Richard is an all-around good kid, he makes one tragic mistake. He holds a lighter to Sasha’s skirt, thinking he’ll just give the sleeping Sasha a scare. But Sasha awakes with their clothing engulfed in flames. Shortly thereafter, Richard is faced with the prospect of being tried as an adult for his crime. What follows is a story that raises awareness about the unprecedented level of violence inflicted on transgender people – “one out of every four trans people has experienced a bias-driven assault, and the numbers are higher for trans women, trans people of color, and people who identify as neither male nor female”* – reveals crippling flaws in the criminal justice system – “Some people start committing crimes when they're young and keep on committing them, progressing from burglary to robbery to murder. The problem is, there’s no way to know which kid is going to mellow with age and which one is just getting warmed up”* – and explores themes of race and class, gender and identity, as well as crime and punishment. Compassionate in its exploration of two sides of a story and noteworthy for its emphasis on empathy, The 57 Bus is an impressive work of non-fiction that belongs in the hands of every teenager and adult. --Special thanks to Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers for providing a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. *Note: all quotes are provided from an uncorrected proof.
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely read YA non-fiction, but I made an exception for Dashka Slater’s The 57 Bus. As a librarian, I’ve been searching for ways to address social justice topics. While it’s liberal, my home state is predominantly white. Fortunately as a child I lived abroad, so I had exposure to diverse groups of people and experiences. Born and bred Vermonters don’t necessarily have that luxury. Living in a small, rural, white state is akin to existing in a bubble. And that bubble can make it challenging for I rarely read YA non-fiction, but I made an exception for Dashka Slater’s The 57 Bus. As a librarian, I’ve been searching for ways to address social justice topics. While it’s liberal, my home state is predominantly white. Fortunately as a child I lived abroad, so I had exposure to diverse groups of people and experiences. Born and bred Vermonters don’t necessarily have that luxury. Living in a small, rural, white state is akin to existing in a bubble. And that bubble can make it challenging for residents to fully empathize with certain societal issues. Black Lives Matter is relegated to a news headline, rather than being a fully realized idea. Working with teens, my goal is to promote and increase awareness through literature. Books by their very nature are fantastic tools to foster empathy and understanding. White Vermont teens may not have direct interaction with the Black Lives Matter movement (or similar social justice topics), but they can read Angie Thomas’ thought-provoking novel “The Hate U Give. Is literature a replacement for experience? Of course not. But books do provide something. A groundwork. A reference point. And, frankly sometimes that’s the best we can do. On the heels of The Hate U Give and with today’s social climate, The 57 Bus comes at an ideal time. Based on the real life story of a white Oakland agender teen attacked by another teen while riding the bus, the book is both insightful and balanced. It’s easy to dismiss this incident as a hate crime perpetrated by an African American gangbanger or thug. That’s what the media did. Ms. Slater takes a different approach. Sasha (the victim) and Richard’s (the attacker) backstories are fully explored. Contrary to Nancy Grace, crimes rarely occur in a vacuum, especially those committed by juvenile offenders. Oakland itself and Richard’s backstory are paid careful consideration. And after learning about both a clearer picture emerges. One where Oakland, one of the most diverse and deeply divided cities in the country, and the criminal justice system play a role in shaping events. Dashka Slater could have easily formed a narrative casting Richard as our villain. That didn’t happen. Instead we’re presented with a portrait of a goofy, often quiet, but smart TEENAGER raised in poverty who desperately tries to avoid getting in trouble. Richard is no supervillain. He’s not “bad.” Or "evil." Don’t get me wrong: the book doesn’t condone or excuse his actions, but they’re provided necessary context. A favor not granted by the media who manipulated both Richard and his mother’s words by ripping away their substance to create their preferred narrative. It’s a topic also addressed in The Hate U Give. The ability of news stations to influence viewer opinion. Often, negatively. In addition to media criticism, The 57 Bus is also a compelling indictment of the criminal justice system. A system where Richard, despite being only 16-years-old, is tried as an adult. And being tried as an adult, he loses protections granted to juveniles such as anonymity and reasonable sentences. But perhaps most importantly, charging a teen as an adult means they end up in adult prisons. Institutions that have been statistically proven to increase antisocial behaviors rather than erase them. Basically it’s an exploration of punishment vs. rehabilitation. What’s our actual goal, especially for juvenile offenders? As a teenager, Richard’s limbic system is still developing. He physically and mentally has less impulse control than adults. He’s mentally different, but treated the same. Experts and Richard’s supervisory adults attest that he was motivated to heal and learn from his crime. An ideal candidate for Restorative Justice, a program proven to divert and prevent future criminal activity. But because he was convicted of an adult felony, this opportunity was lost. Again, as much as it may sound like it, the story doesn’t excuse Richard’s actions. It’s critiquing and exploring the systems that fostered this attack and the resultant legal response. In fact, Sasha and their family, publicly disagreed with the court’s decision to try Richard as an adult. Sasha and their parents seemed to have a more broad understanding of the crime, its circumstances, and repercussions than the legal system. Sasha is also provided equal narrative attention. It’s not the Richard show despite my review’s focus. The 57 Bus does a remarkably good job of explaining nonbinary gender identities and making those concepts accessible to the layperson. Both Sasha and their friends grapple with gender identity and human nature’s constant need to define ourselves. And it’s so skillfully handled that teens will undoubtedly empathize with this conflict. The 57 Bus presents non-fiction in a narrative format. Interspersed letters, texts, social media exchanges, and poetry further separate this work from its more dull and pedantic peers. By avoiding oversentimentality and black-and-white definition, the reader comes away with not only increased awareness, but genuine empathy for BOTH Sasha and Richard. It’s a masterful piece and one that hopefully raises the bar for YA nonfiction.
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  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    This was an amazingly written work of nonfiction for a teen (or older) audience. This book presents 2 teens brought together on the same bus for a small amount of time, and the one act that changed their lives (for good and bad) forever. There are no black and whites in this book, the author attempts to tell the story of Sasha, an agender teen who likes to dress how they felt was right, as well as Richard a boy who had a lot of hardship, loss, and sadness in his life, who had a lighter that day. This was an amazingly written work of nonfiction for a teen (or older) audience. This book presents 2 teens brought together on the same bus for a small amount of time, and the one act that changed their lives (for good and bad) forever. There are no black and whites in this book, the author attempts to tell the story of Sasha, an agender teen who likes to dress how they felt was right, as well as Richard a boy who had a lot of hardship, loss, and sadness in his life, who had a lighter that day. I enjoyed that the author didn't write just to the trial, but explored the current criminal justice system.This book will win many awards.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot recommend this book enough. It does so much. It examines what it means to be a (fairly privileged) non-binary white teen with Aspergers.It examines what it means to be an African-American male teen from a rough part of Oakland.It examines the criminal justice system, particularly where it involves juveniles being tried as adults.It looks at the complexities and problems of assigning a criminal act as a "hate crime".The book is empathetic, and subtle, and cuts through the narrative wove I cannot recommend this book enough. It does so much. It examines what it means to be a (fairly privileged) non-binary white teen with Aspergers.It examines what it means to be an African-American male teen from a rough part of Oakland.It examines the criminal justice system, particularly where it involves juveniles being tried as adults.It looks at the complexities and problems of assigning a criminal act as a "hate crime".The book is empathetic, and subtle, and cuts through the narrative woven by the media to look at the actual people involved and the far more complicated truth that exists for something that most people only learned about through headlines. I live in the Bay Area, so I remember very clearly the incident that this book revolves around: in 2013, on an Oakland bus, one teenager lit another (non gender conforming) teenager's skirt on fire, which resulted in the victim suffering horrible burns, and the perpetrator being charged with a hate crime and tried as an adult. Slater's book is so important because it deals with so many charged issues in a sensitive and illuminating way.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating, timely read about intersections, the variety in communities, the problems with our justice systems and our education systems, gender, and race. Definitely an important book to get to teens and educators.
  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I may have read articles about this story but I can't remember. The fact that Dashka covered this story as a journalist was a great factor in this book. The author already had first had knowledge on this subject matter. What I enjoyed the most about this book is that it did not read like just a bunch of interviews. Yet, everyone who spoke and was featured in this book had a name and a face. It was like I was there in person listening as everyone spoke. Yet, this book was not just about the crime I may have read articles about this story but I can't remember. The fact that Dashka covered this story as a journalist was a great factor in this book. The author already had first had knowledge on this subject matter. What I enjoyed the most about this book is that it did not read like just a bunch of interviews. Yet, everyone who spoke and was featured in this book had a name and a face. It was like I was there in person listening as everyone spoke. Yet, this book was not just about the crime but about the people; specifically Sasha and Richard. The book is broken out into different parts. The first parts give the reader an insight into who Sasha and Richard are before the event. While, the event was horrible, I felt like Richard really did not have malice intentions towards Sasha. He just made a very stupid judgment in error that cost him dearly. Just from reading this book, it seemed that Richard was a scapegoat. This book captured my attention and kept it until the very end.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    There are events in life that become gateways to the future in major ways. The fire that occurred on the 57 bus on November 4, 2013. Two young people's lives would never be the same as a result of the decision that was made. I appreciated the way that Slater gives a brief overview of the event before digging into the lives of Sasha and Richard (last names not shared in order to provide privacy). By the time the author circles back to the fire and the consequences I felt like I knew and cared abo There are events in life that become gateways to the future in major ways. The fire that occurred on the 57 bus on November 4, 2013. Two young people's lives would never be the same as a result of the decision that was made. I appreciated the way that Slater gives a brief overview of the event before digging into the lives of Sasha and Richard (last names not shared in order to provide privacy). By the time the author circles back to the fire and the consequences I felt like I knew and cared about both Sasha and Richard. This depth gives the fire more meaning and makes it all the more tragic. Not only do we as readers follow the experiences of both Sasha, the one who got burned, but also Richard the one who committed the crime, but we see the event through the eyes of the media, the courts, and family and friends of both Sasha and Richard. The author gives a nice background into Sasha's agender identity as well as a brief introduction to different sexual and gender identities, which was helpful in understanding Sasha (who the world tends to see as a young man) and why the skirt Sasha wore became a target of Richard and his two friends.I found the story of Sasha and Richard and what happened to them (and where they are up to the publication of the book) rather compelling. The short chapters make this a good book for YA reluctant readers. I think one of the most powerful aspects of the book is the author's ability to share both Sasha's experiences and Richard's. It makes it hard to completely condemn Richard for a moment of sheer stupidity as he gives in to peer pressure as well as the unfairness of his two friends never getting charged, even though Richard wouldn't have done what he did without them egging him on. The court system and its strengths and weaknesses play an important role in the story as does forgiveness, redemption, and second chances. The nature of the story means that rough language, and mature content relating to gender, sexuality, and bullying all come into play, making this book most appropriate for high school and up.
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  • Zola
    January 1, 1970
    Although not the root cause, the two teenagers involved in this situation were on different sides of a sharp class divide. Shasha, white, came from a middle-class background; at home, they had time to dream, read, and create other languages, worlds, and plans for their own future. Richard, Black, attended a school with larger classes, more working class students, and more crime in the surrounding neighborhoods -- little time or quiet for dreams and aspirations there. Judging from the information Although not the root cause, the two teenagers involved in this situation were on different sides of a sharp class divide. Shasha, white, came from a middle-class background; at home, they had time to dream, read, and create other languages, worlds, and plans for their own future. Richard, Black, attended a school with larger classes, more working class students, and more crime in the surrounding neighborhoods -- little time or quiet for dreams and aspirations there. Judging from the information in this book, Richard seems to have had no contact with the Bay Area’s Black middle class, a social class which is not new (it existed before the technology industry boom). Sasha’s own parents would have modeled certain forms of class mobility, while Richard have had no such experience.The author’s use of short chapters works very well for this particular sad, true story. In so many criminal incidents or disasters, the ‘real story’ is told in fragments: witnesses, first responders, victims, perpetrators, counselors, and that’s why the shart chapter lengths works. Slater obviously devoted time and consideration to handling this story in an empathetic way. Because Richard remained incarcerated when this book was written, it’s understandable that his side of the story lacks a certain depth. Perhaps this may have been remedied somewhat by researching and discussing the larger context of his teenage world. African American communities have always had LGBTQIA people, out to one degree or another. Black queerness is hardly an innovation, as certain early Blues recordings (Ma Rainey’s Prove it on Me) make clear. Working-class Black queer dance, slang vocabulary, mannerism, fashion, performance styles, and more are repeatedly copied and reproduced in mainstream culture, usually without no acknowledgment of the original creators. This sort of historical and social context is absent, and it makes the book feel somewhat unbalanced. What might Richard have been likely to hear and observe when growing up? Who lives in the Oakland neighborhoods where he lived and attended school? It’s just as likely that Richard might have been goaded to set a Black nonbinary gender person’s skirt on fire, although there may not have been as much media attention. Statistical data about family income, school completion rates, and racialized institutional and social environments can’t answer all of “Why?” questions here. How could they?The adults around Richard could only present one side of this story. Some mystery remains at the end of the book; who were the older women that came to Richard’s court hearings to observe? The author includes a brief reference to a short TV interview at the courtroom in which the women express concern over juvenile justice sentencing. Whether or not they took any action --- letters to officials or to Richard, for example -- remains unknown. Had the author been able to find and interview these women, it may added some depth to the story, and offered more possibilities for a motive.An empathetic, dedicated member of the school staff made the time and effort to ask Richard about his inner life and home lives, the interviews with her show that the adults in his life were fully aware of the problems in the children’s environments, and that they wanted to help. So is this book about race, sexuality, gender roles, or all three? Maybe it’s about the last. Without a more personal understanding of the environment Richard lived in, there is no real sense of his interior life. He remains nearly as distant and unknowable at the book’s end as its beginning, despite the author’s choice of interview subjects. In contrast, the in-depth interviews with Sasha’s parents and various forms of documentation provide a well-rounded portrait. Only Sasha seems truly alive at the end of the book, flourishing at MIT, able to put a lifelong interest in public transportation to use in preparation for a career. The frightening, bewildering incident isn’t forgettable, but they have something to look forward to.Book clubs may want to choose some additional materials to read and discuss if they select The 57 Bus. I recommend this as a way to inform participants about nonbinary gender, LBGTQIA people in African American history and culture, and the changing Bay Area.
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  • Tina Panik
    January 1, 1970
    Deeply moving and thought provoking, this true story will invite you to challenge your assumptions and beliefs on gender, class inequality, race, and the criminal justice system. Don't flinch; keep reading, and then start discussing!This was an ARC.
  • Magdalena Deniz
    January 1, 1970
    I am so grateful to be part of a group of students that got to read the ARC of The 57 Bus. This book was exceptionally written and eye opening. I look forward to talking with my fellow students about this book and the issues it confronts circled around two teens and one horrific event. Wonderfully done. Thank you for writing this.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely if ever read non-fiction. When I do, it's usually memoirs. So I'll be honest: when I picked up the 57 bus I barely glanced at the back and I thought it was going to be a whodunnit thriller. But I'm kind of glad I thought that, because otherwise I would probably not have read this amazing piece of work.I was only fourteen when the main incident described in this book occurred, and I had no idea that it had even happened until reading this book. I was horrified, but, at the same time felt I rarely if ever read non-fiction. When I do, it's usually memoirs. So I'll be honest: when I picked up the 57 bus I barely glanced at the back and I thought it was going to be a whodunnit thriller. But I'm kind of glad I thought that, because otherwise I would probably not have read this amazing piece of work.I was only fourteen when the main incident described in this book occurred, and I had no idea that it had even happened until reading this book. I was horrified, but, at the same time felt pity for both Sasha and Richard. This book brings up a lot of important questions about privilege, racism, transphobia, hate crimes, and the issues revolving the juvenile justice system. I want to be a high school history teacher when I get out of college, and this book could definitely be used, with some supplemental resources, as a topic for an in-class discussion. It affected me profoundly. One thing that made me grossed out was the vivid description of Sasha's burns. I thought it was sufficient to just describe them as second- and third-degree burns. However, the main reason I took off a star was because I felt that Richard's story wasn't as fleshed out as Sasha's. I wish we could have seen more of Richard's school and home life through more eyes than just Cherie and Jasmine. I also think we could have gotten more of a feel for him if quotes from his social media accounts had been included, as they are in Sasha's, instead of just descriptions of his Facebook photos. This discrepancy really isn't by fault of the author, as I'm sure she really did try to make this account as unbiased as possible.
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  • Ann Koster Schaffer
    January 1, 1970
    Do you remember a news story from back in 2013 when an asexual teen was set on fire while sleeping on a bus in Oakland, CA? People were outraged at what appeared to be a hate crime against the LGBTQ community. Even after reading a few chapters, I expected to learn that the attacker was a bad egg, and 100% deserved to be locked up for the rest of his life. But there really are two sides to this story. The book lays out the facts without taking sides, but at the same time, I felt empathy toward bo Do you remember a news story from back in 2013 when an asexual teen was set on fire while sleeping on a bus in Oakland, CA? People were outraged at what appeared to be a hate crime against the LGBTQ community. Even after reading a few chapters, I expected to learn that the attacker was a bad egg, and 100% deserved to be locked up for the rest of his life. But there really are two sides to this story. The book lays out the facts without taking sides, but at the same time, I felt empathy toward both Sasha, the victim, and Richard, the boy who lit Sasha’s skirt on fire. Richard made some terrible mistakes for which he should be held accountable, but I really don’t think he meant to physically hurt Sasha.Aside from covering the news story, the author provides interesting information about the LGBTQ community. What is your gender? What pronoun do you prefer? There may be more choices than what you think. I am fascinated by the chapter that lists many different ways that people identify. My teenage daughter finally told me to stop talking about it after listening to me educate a few people.This book is very factual, but evokes emotion in a way that primarily fiction-readers will love. It’s an important book that will inspire discussions and will help people think. I hope that this book will promote acceptance, unity, and understanding, but I would be happy with tolerance, peace, and education. Even if you don’t agree with the life choice or anything that's "different" about another person, please just leave them alone. What you think you see on the outside may not define everything they are as a person. Everyone has a story.
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  • Contrariwise
    January 1, 1970
    How do you show the dimensions behind what appears to be a no excuses, open and shut hate crime? How do you make the victim and perpetrator back into real people again? I really appreciate how this book told both sides, especially through the eyes of the two teens' friends and family. The window into the criminal justice system and how transformative it can be to have a chance at reconciling was eye opening too.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    Heartbreaking what happened to both kids involved. I feel for both of them.
  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I'll admit that I don't read enough YA non-fiction. When I got the ARC of this one at ALA and after hearing the publishers talk about it, I knew I needed to read it. It's so well researched and written. It's fair in its portrayal of both young people. It's a lesson in gender and sexuality studies as well as criminal (in)justice. It's a case for restorative justice practices throughout our schools and communities. It's very, very well done. Definitely a contender for non-fiction awards.
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  • Jo Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This was an extremely well researched and written chronicle of a horrific crime, but for me, more immediate, was the authors way of clearly and compassionately exploring the lives and the perspectives of the two young people and their families. Through this text I was able to better understand the feelings an definitions of asexual, trans, non-binary sexual identities. The crime is almost secondary to all that this book is about and I would highly recommend this as a must read for all. Thank you This was an extremely well researched and written chronicle of a horrific crime, but for me, more immediate, was the authors way of clearly and compassionately exploring the lives and the perspectives of the two young people and their families. Through this text I was able to better understand the feelings an definitions of asexual, trans, non-binary sexual identities. The crime is almost secondary to all that this book is about and I would highly recommend this as a must read for all. Thank you to Dashka Slater for this very important work. Well done.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fantastic piece of nonfiction both for teens and readers familiar with the original reporting on this crime.
  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an important to help readers understand BOTH gender-neutral people and also youth in the penal system. It's alternating chapters about the different characters was very effective. It also aids in understanding of the affects of peer pressure and compulsive decision-making in the teen aged brain. Thanks to net galley for an ARC for this book.
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  • Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    Strenuously neutral look at both a teen whose skirt was set on fire and the kid who did it. Raises questions of privilege, guilt, responsibility, justice, and class with elegance. I cried for both kids. Must-read, must discuss.
  • Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. This story was wildly compelling and meticulously told. I had somehow missed the crime when it was in the news, and I'm not sure I even knew what it was about when I requested from NetGalley. I think I had seen that it was a BEA Buzz Book. From the very beginning of the book, it grabbed me and I devoured it. It's beautiful written in a smart, journalistic style, with compassion for everyone involved. I will be thinking about these people for a long time to com Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. This story was wildly compelling and meticulously told. I had somehow missed the crime when it was in the news, and I'm not sure I even knew what it was about when I requested from NetGalley. I think I had seen that it was a BEA Buzz Book. From the very beginning of the book, it grabbed me and I devoured it. It's beautiful written in a smart, journalistic style, with compassion for everyone involved. I will be thinking about these people for a long time to come.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    There is a lot to think about here, and a lot to discuss. I'm not certain the format is the best (especially the rando poetry?) and I've read Slater's article and she took some from the article and inserted it straight in the book, but still this was fascinating.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! This book had fascinating subject-matter, which sounds strange when I am, in fact, talking about nonfiction. When you have to have several pages to explain terminology, you know things are going to be serious. I had no idea there was an agender community, & I enjoyed reading about them and their parents (once I got used to the gender-neutral pronoun reference). I also appreciated that this book showed both sides of this crime and the people involved. You can Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! This book had fascinating subject-matter, which sounds strange when I am, in fact, talking about nonfiction. When you have to have several pages to explain terminology, you know things are going to be serious. I had no idea there was an agender community, & I enjoyed reading about them and their parents (once I got used to the gender-neutral pronoun reference). I also appreciated that this book showed both sides of this crime and the people involved. You can see which way the author leans on the subject and law/judgement involved, but it was well done in the fact that you still get a fairly unbiased view of things with all the facts presented here (I say fairly because you definitely are trying juveniles as adults is not favorable to the author and the experts she used). You really get to know all the people involved and all the events. I was very impressed by the research and presentation of the facts. The writing was well organized and engaging with short chapters that still packed a punch on information. It's hard to say what I leaned more about-the trans/agender community or the criminal justice system for minors. The author met her goal of educating about both. I never would've known about this crime and never would've known about both sides without this book. This book would be a hard sell for most kids, but it will definitely have an audience and should have an audience. Our world is a unique place and one that needs educated, open-minds and open hearts. This book leads the way to opening both of those. Glad I read it because it's going to stick with me!
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  • Shawna
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting nonfiction book. There are many different things going on, many instances of social injustice. It's the story of Sasha who doesn't identify as either a boy or girl. As a teenager, this has got to be incredibly difficult. However, Sasha is lucky to have the complete support of both parents and support systems at school. It's also the story of Richard, a black teen who lives a completely different life than Sasha. Their paths cross one afternoon on the 57 bus, and things wi This was an interesting nonfiction book. There are many different things going on, many instances of social injustice. It's the story of Sasha who doesn't identify as either a boy or girl. As a teenager, this has got to be incredibly difficult. However, Sasha is lucky to have the complete support of both parents and support systems at school. It's also the story of Richard, a black teen who lives a completely different life than Sasha. Their paths cross one afternoon on the 57 bus, and things will never be the same for either of them. You'll feel so bad for what Sasha has to go through, but you'll also feel bad for Richard and his circumstances. Go into this one with an open mind, and be ready to honestly examine your preconceived ideas.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. And double wow. The 57 Bus takes the reader into the true story about two teenagers whose lives intersect one day on a public bus. After a terrifying incident, one teen suffers from horrific burns while the other is charged with a hate crime. Yet, the story isn't as black and white as it seems on the surface. Furthermore, the villain is not as easily defined as one would think. A well-researched, can't put down read. (I received this book as an advanced copy in exchange for my honest and un Wow. And double wow. The 57 Bus takes the reader into the true story about two teenagers whose lives intersect one day on a public bus. After a terrifying incident, one teen suffers from horrific burns while the other is charged with a hate crime. Yet, the story isn't as black and white as it seems on the surface. Furthermore, the villain is not as easily defined as one would think. A well-researched, can't put down read. (I received this book as an advanced copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review)
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  • Donna Dobihal Smith
    January 1, 1970
    In this impeccably researched, beautifully written story of a true event, that keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one, readers are introduced to a myriad of characters involved, both directly or indirectly, in an event that not only changes the lives of both the victim, offender and their families, it compels the reader to reevaluate how they think about gender, race, our justice system and more. This book brought me to tears a number of times. An important work, highly recommended.
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    Slater did an excellent job of presenting both sides of the story. Too often it's easy to read stories in the newspaper and condemn one party for being stupid. But in The 57 Bus, it's so easy to see how dumb mistakes can turn into something more and forgiveness and kindness are always needed in our world, especially now. It is particularly effective because, whenever possible, Slater quotes directly from the teens involved which allows us to hear from them in their own words.
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  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    this would be a great choice for high schools looking for an all school read. would also be great for a staff read as well.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Engrossing look at a true event from multiple points of view. It will make you think about class, race, gender, and the criminal justice system. Situations and frank language make this one appropriate for older YA. (reviewed from ARC)
  • Laurène Poret
    January 1, 1970
    Immersive and thought provoking book that won't leave you untouched. Probably a better read for late teens and adults
  • Cherry
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful thought provoking book. Love Dashka Slater's straightforward style
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