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.