Showing posts with label Non Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Non Fiction. Show all posts

Thursday, November 23, 2023

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater

Genre: Young Adult, Nonfiction
Source: I own a copy

This is a true story that took place in 2013.  It explores many issues and how they are handled. Sasha is an agender, autistic teen who likes wearing skirts.  Richard is a teen who decides to set Sasha’s skirt on fire while they are sleeping. It was meant to be a prank. Many things played a role in the sentence that Richard was given. The actual event was horrific no matter what gender.  However, when you look at all the facts several things come to mind. So let me start by saying that the incident, no matter what race or gender the victim and perpetrator were needed to be punished.  When reading the book I noticed a couple of things in particular.  The first thing I noticed was that Sasha was white and Richard was African American.  The second thing we notice is their gender identification and their financial status.  When you read a book and the victim’s family stands up for the person accused of the crime and it is ignored then you have to imagine something is wrong with the system. Richard is questions without a lawyer and makes statements that paint him as homophobic. Due to this and other circumstances he is tried as an adult. Yes I do believe what he did was wrong on so many levels. Do I believe he should have been tried as an adult?  No.  This crime changed both lives. By the press and everyone involved focusing on race and gender there was a lot of bias found in this case.  The author brings a human side to the story. By telling what happened to both teens and telling us both sides of the story we get a better picture of the humans these two are.  So often the news takes a story and puts their own slant on it to fit the politics of the time. I can’t have it on my shelves, but I can sure recommend students check it out from their local library.