STARRED REVIEW
November 2017

American crime story

By Dashka Slater
Review by

In this true story of two teenagers from different sides of Oakland, California, and the bus ride that leaves one of them severely burned and the other facing criminal charges, award-winning journalist and author Dashka Slater chips away at the binaries that frame our understanding of the world.

Share this Article:

In this true story of two teenagers from different sides of Oakland, California, and the bus ride that leaves one of them severely burned and the other facing criminal charges, award-winning journalist and author Dashka Slater chips away at the binaries that frame our understanding of the world.

No simple morality tale and far more than a legal thriller, The 57 Bus is a genre-bending book that reveals the tangled complexities of gender, race, crime and justice in modern-day America.

Sasha, a white genderqueer high school student, was wearing a skirt on the bus when Richard, a black student from a struggling neighborhood, set Sasha’s skirt on fire. The genre-bending story that follows is no simple morality tale, as it reveals the tangled complexities of gender, race, crime, justice and hope in America. Bird’s-eye views of Oakland and official statistics are spliced together with instant messages, social media posts and other primary sources. Emphasizing the interconnected nature of humanity, Slater reveals her characters and their web of relationships with deftness and fluidity.

The 57 Bus will be on year-end lists, but not for its technical accomplishments alone. It will be there because it does what all great books do—reveals our world to us anew.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Dashka Slater about The 57 Bus.

This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

By Dashka Slater
FSG
ISBN 9780374303235

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.