A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award
“The text shifts from straightforward reporting to lyrical
meditations, never veering into oversentimentality or simple platitudes. Readers are bound to come away with deep empathy for both Sasha and Richard . . . Slater artfully unfolds a complex and layered tale about two teens whose lives intersect with painful consequences. This work will spark discussions about identity, community, and what it means to achieve justice.”
—School Library Journal (starred review)
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.
Dashka Slater has written many books, including Baby Shoes, The Sea Serpent and Me, 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.
The 57 Bus has been selected for First-Year Experience programs at:
The Fashion Institute of Technology (NY); Johnson State College (Northern Vermont University); University of Wisconsin – Platteville