The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

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

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
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.

McMillan Palgrave
This riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.

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

& Taylor

Tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, a crime that focuses on the concepts of race, class, gender, crime, and punishment.

Publisher: New York :, Farrar Straus Giroux,, [2017]
Edition: First Edition
Description: 302 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780374303235
Branch Call Number: TEEN 364.1555 Fle


From Library Staff

In the fall of 2013, on a bus ride home, a young man sets another student on fire. In a small, private high school we meet Sasha, a young woman with Asperger’s who didn’t fit into a gender category and so, with the support of her parents, begins to adopt the pronoun “they”, wearing a skirt for th... 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.

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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Feb 24, 2018

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


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