The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

Book - 2017
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A nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment that tells the true story of a teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374303235
0374303231
Characteristics: 305 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Fifty-seven bus

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From Library Staff

If Sasha and Richard hadn't taken the same bus home, they probably never would have met. But after Richard set Sasha’s skirt on fire, he was charged with two hate crimes, and the subsequent court case prompted questions about gender identity, race and class.


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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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