The 57 Bus Summary & Study Guide

Dashka Slater
This Study Guide consists of approximately 61 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The 57 Bus.
This section contains 454 words
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The 57 Bus Summary & Study Guide Description

The 57 Bus Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus. Macmillan Publishing Group, New York, New York, 2017. Kindle AZW file.

Sasha was a student at Maybeck High School, a private school. Each afternoon, Sasha rode buses home, and one of those was the 57 Bus. Richard was a black teen who attended Oakland High School. On November 4, 2013, Sasha, who identifies as agender and prefers the pronoun “they,” was asleep on the back seat of the bus. They wore a white skirt, t-shirt, black jacket, and cap. They had been reading before falling asleep. Richard and some of his friends were joking around, and Richard flicked a lighter at the bottom of Sasha's skirt. The skirt went up in flames and Sasha woke, screaming. Two men put out the fire while Richard, his friends, and others ran off the bus. Sasha called their father, Karl, who arrived at the scene before the ambulance. The next day, Richard was under arrest.

Sasha had been born a boy and identified as Luke until they began questioning their gender in high school. They soon chose agender and chose the name Sasha because it could refer to male or female. Sasha was a good student and had several close friends. Their parents, Karl and Debbie, were supportive of Sasha's choices, but worried about harassment.

Richard had been in trouble before this incident, and his initial statement to police prompted them to add the hate-crime enhancement to the charges. Later, Richard's lawyer insisted that Richard did not know what the word “homophobic” actually meant. He said Richard believed it meant he was straight, not that he hated gays. As Richard faced the possibility of life in prison, Sasha's parents spoke out, saying that Richard should be on trial as a juvenile. They did not go so far as to say that he should not face the consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, the community rallied with support for Sasha and others like them, who chose nonconforming clothing and lifestyle choices. Sasha realized the case had sparked much-needed attention on the agender lifestyle, but wished they had not been the one harmed to create that attention.

Over the next months, Richard faced a court battle while Sasha faced painful medical procedures to repair the damage to their legs. When Sasha received an acceptance to MIT and moved away, Richard was doing his best to meet the terms of his plea deal at a juvenile facility. By the time Richard's case came up for review, Sasha's family had received the letter of apology Richard wrote shortly after his arrest, and they urged the court for leniency. Richard's sentence is five years at a juvenile facility.

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