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The 57 Bus

22 July 2018

Medium the 57 bus
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About the book

One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both their lives forever.

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. It’s about the power of being true to yourself, bravery and the good and bad in all of us.

And, remarkably, it’s all true.

What do you think?

10 groups from across the country were given the opportunity to read and review The 57 Bus. What did they think of it?

One reader that it “is an incredibly interesting and gripping story of exploring incredibly important topics like gender, sexuality, discrimination and juvenile crime. It had really opened my eyes to these types of issues and subjects. I loved every second of it.”

Another reader said that if they could talk to Dashka Slater, the author, they would say: “For me, the mix of emotions felt throughout was incredible; it really made the book compelling and even at the end I was still unsure on how to feel. It’s a book that stays with you.”

And what did one of the readers hate when they read the book? “The American justice system!”

Get involved

Have you read The 57 Bus? Do you agree or disagree with these readers? Let us know what you think by leaving a review on our website or tagging @readingagency on Twitter or Instagram.