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The 57 Bus
Contributor(s): Slater, Dashka
ISBN: 0374303231     ISBN-13: 9780374303235
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: Documents the true story of two Oakland high school students, a white girl from a privileged private school and a black youth from a school overshadowed by crime, whose fateful interaction triggered devastating consequences for both, garnering national attention and raising awareness about hate. By the author of The Sea Serpent and Me. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Assault and battery; California; Juvenile literature.
Hate crimes; California; Juvenile literature.
Asexual people; California; Violence against; Juvenile literature.
Dewey: 364.15/55092279466
LCCN: 2016050815
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (0.90 lbs) 305 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 192475
Reading Level: 6.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 8.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72113
Reading Level: 6.6   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 12.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Dashka Slater has written many books, including Baby Shoes, The Sea Serpent and Me, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection, Escargot, and Dangerously Ever After. She is also an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. She lives in California.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
In 2013, on the 57 bus in Oakland, California, African American Richard, egged on by friends, set white, genderqueer Sasha's gauzy skirt on fire. Sasha survived but sustained third-degree burns; Richard was arrested for a hate crime. Using interviews, court documents, and news accounts, Slater has crafted a compelling true-crime story that goes beyond the headlines to tell the very human stories behind these individuals and their families. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #1)
It was late afternoon on Monday, November 4, 2013. Sasha was napping on the 57 bus in Oakland, California, when Richard, egged on by friends, set their gauzy skirt on fire. (Sasha is genderqueer and prefers the pronoun they.) Sasha survived, but sustained third-degree burns on their calves and thighs. The incident was captured on video cameras installed in the bus, and the next day Richard was arrested for a hate crime and processed in the justice system. From the start, the deck was stacked against Richard, an African American teenager with a criminal history, who had now committed a horrific crime that grabbed media attention, caused national outrage, and fomented local protests. Slater goes beyond the headlines to tell the very human stories behind these individuals and their families (although it's clear she did not have as much personal access to Richard as she did to Sasha). It's a powerful story of class and race (Sasha is white), gender and identity, justice and mercy, love and hate. Using interviews, court documents, and news accounts, Slater has crafted a compelling true-crime story with ramifications for our most vulnerable youth. jonathan hunt Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 August #2)

Journalist and author Slater (Escargot) offers a riveting account of the events that preceded and followed a 2013 assault in Oakland, Calif. Both Sasha (a white, agender private school teenager) and Richard (an African-American public school student who had lost numerous loved ones to murder) rode the 57 bus every day. One afternoon, Richard—egged on by friends—lit the sleeping Sasha's skirt on fire, and the resulting blaze left third-degree burns over 22% of Sasha's body. Sixteen-year-old Richard was arrested and charged as an adult with committing a hate crime. The short, easily digestible chapters take a variety of forms, including narrative, poetry, lists (including terms for gender, sex, sexuality, and romantic inclinations), text-message conversations, and Richard's heartrending letters of apology to Sasha. Using details gleaned from interviews, social media, surveillance video, public records, and other sources, Slater skillfully conveys the complexities of both young people's lives and the courage and compassion of their families, friends, and advocates, while exploring the challenges and moral ambiguities of the criminal justice system. This painful story illuminates, cautions, and inspires. Ages 12–up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 6 Up—On November 4, 2013, Sasha, a high school senior from Oakland, CA, was napping on the 57 bus home from school. Shortly thereafter, Richard, another Oakland teen, boarded the bus with his two friends. When the trio's jokes took a dark turn, Richard's and Sasha's lives were forever changed. Slater, who originally covered the crime for the New York Times magazine, here breaks down the series of events into short and effective chapters, divided into four parts: "Sasha," "Richard," "The Fire," and "Justice." By investigating the lives of these two teens, their backgrounds, their friends and families, and the circumstances that led to that fateful day on the bus, Slater offers readers a grounded and balanced view of a horrific event. There is much baked into the story of these intersecting lives that defies easy categorization, including explorations of gender identity, the racial and class divisions that separate two Oakland neighborhoods, the faults and limits of the justice system, the concept of restorative justice, and the breadth of human cruelty, guilt, and forgiveness. With clarity and a journalist's sharp eye for crucial details, Slater explains preferred pronouns; the difference between gender and sex as well as sexuality and romance; and the intricacies of California's criminal justice process. The text shifts from straightforward reporting to lyrical meditations, never veering into oversentimentality or simple platitudes. Readers are bound to come away with deep empathy for both Sasha and Richard. VERDICT Slater artfully unfolds a complex and layered tale about two teens whose lives intersect with painful consequences. This work will spark discussions about identity, community, and what it means to achieve justice.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.