Two teenagers growing up in Oakland, California. One, Sasha, was born male but identifies as agender, wears skirts and attends a private school. The other, Richard, is an African American from a poor part of Oakland who attends a rough public school. They have no reason to meet, except for eight minutes every day, they catch the same bus home.
And one day, messing about, Richard spies Sasha napping. He flicks the flame of his lighter to Sasha’s skirt, and Sasha wakes up in a ball of flame. What happens next, as the victim, the perpetrator and the community struggle to come to terms with their sadness and shock, is a story of recovery, reconciliation, forgiveness and, above all, hope.
This book is suitable for young adults aged 12 and 18.
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. The 57 Bus is about the power of being true to yourself, bravery and the good and bad in all of us. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
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.