Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

The 57 Bus: Teaching for Social Justice

on August 6, 2019

One of the most powerful books I read this summer was The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. The narrative non-fiction is told in alternating view points between Sasha, a transgender teen who is set on fire by Richard on an Oakland bus on the way home from school.

You can read a detailed account of the event here.

There are many reasons why this book should be included in a high social justice unit as it covers gender and sexual identity, the issue of hate crimes, and juvenile justice. There is a great article in the School and Library Journal here about why this book should be included in school reading lists.

Lesson Idea: I would also suggest reading The Bus 57 alongside Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention and partnering the opening essay of Kids in Orange with the reading in The Bus 57 entitled BookedIn on pages 151-154. Discuss with students why both pieces are written in second person point of view and the rest of both books are not, how the selection of point of view impacts story, and have students choose an event-either personal or historical- to write in second person point of view.


One response to “The 57 Bus: Teaching for Social Justice

  1. Susan Lampe, author "Parsing the Dragon: A Memoir" says:

    Interesting comparison of the two books! Your blogs are always interesting and informative.

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