Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

Dashka Slater

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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Hardcover

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.

Washington Post Best Books of the Year

EXCERPT

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2013


By four-thirty in the afternoon, the first mad rush of after-school passengers has come and gone. What’s left are stragglers and stay-laters, swiping their bus passes as they climb onto the 57 bus and...

Reviews

Praise for The 57 Bus

A School Library Journal Best Booksof 2017!
A Washing Post Best Book of 2017!
One of The New York City Public Librariy's Notable 50 Best Books for Teens!

"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." —School Library Journal starred review

"With a journalist's eye for overlooked details, Slater does a masterful job debunking the myths of the hate-crime monster and the African-American thug, probing the line between adolescent stupidity and irredeemable depravity. Few readers will traverse this exploration of gender identity, adolescent crime, and penal racism without having a few assumptions challenged. An outstanding book that links the diversity of creed and the impact of impulsive actions to themes of tolerance and forgiveness." —Kirkus starred review

"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." —Publishers Weekly starred review

"It is likely that this account will spark conversations, debates, and contemplation, perhaps leading readers to define for themselves what justice means."—VOYA

"[A] multi-layered lesson on the healing power of humanity." —Shelf Awareness starred review

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Dashka Slater

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.

Dashka Slater

Jacinta Bouwkamp

Reading Guide

For Parents and Educators

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Download the The 57 Bus projects for children to do at home and in the classroom

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From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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