THE 57 BUS by Dashka Slater
Kirkus Star

THE 57 BUS

A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
Age Range: 14 - 18
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the fall of 2013, on a bus ride home, a young man sets another student on fire.

In a small private high school, Sasha, a white teen with Asperger’s, enjoyed “a tight circle of friends,” “blazed through calculus, linguistics, physics, and computer programming,” and invented languages. Sasha didn’t fall into a neat gender category and considered “the place in-between…a real place.” Encouraged by parents who supported self-expression, Sasha began to use the pronoun they. They wore a skirt for the first time during their school’s annual cross-dressing day and began to identify as genderqueer. On the other side of Oakland, California, Richard, a black teen, was “always goofing around” at a high school where roughly one-third of the students failed to graduate. Within a few short years, his closest friends would be pregnant, in jail, or shot dead, but Richard tried to stay out of real trouble. One fateful day, Sasha was asleep in a “gauzy white skirt” on the 57 bus when a rowdy friend handed Richard a lighter. 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. (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-374-30323-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2017




BEST TEEN NONFICTION OF 2017:

ChildrenEYES OF THE WORLD by Marc Aronson
by Marc Aronson
Children#NOTYOURPRINCESS by Lisa Charleyboy
by Lisa Charleyboy
ChildrenPOPPIES OF IRAQ by Brigitte Findakly
by Brigitte Findakly
ChildrenVINCENT AND THEO by Deborah Heiligman
by Deborah Heiligman

MORE BY DASHKA SLATER

ChildrenESCARGOT by Dashka Slater
by Dashka Slater
ChildrenDANGEROUSLY EVER AFTER by Dashka Slater
by Dashka Slater

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMONSTER by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
NonfictionTHE BOOK OF MATT by Stephen Jimenez
by Stephen Jimenez
ChildrenSYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin
by Jeff Garvin