92 pages 3 hours read

Dashka Slater

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives (2017)

Nonfiction | Book | YA | Published in 2017

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


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

  • Genre: Nonfiction; young adult true crime/social justice
  • Originally Published: 2017
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 930L; grades 7-12
  • Structure/Length: 4 parts; approx. 320 pages; approx. 5 hours, 48 minutes on audio
  • Central Concern: An encounter in 2013 between two teens on a city bus leaves one severely burned and the other facing life in prison. This true story touches on themes regarding race, background, economic and social inequality, and differences in educational settings. It also explores the role of the justice system and the media in the teens’ stories.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Racism; classicism; gender and identity; violence

Dashka Slater, Author

  • Bio: Grew up in Cambridge, MA but moved to Oakland, CA as an adult; journalist for The New York Times and other publications; writer of picture books, middle grade fantasy, and young adult nonfiction; recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Other Works: Picture books Escargot (2017) and The Antlered Ship (2017); The Book of Fatal Errors, first in the Feylawn Chronicles series (2020); Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed (2023)
  • Awards: School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2017); YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist (2018); ALA Stonewall Book Award Winner (2018); Horn Book Honor Book Award for Nonfiction (2018)