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Publisher's Summary

This riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.
One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.
If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But, one afternoon, on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
©2017 Dashka Slater (P)2017 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

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By C. E. Wilson on 11-15-17


This was a terrific, compassionate and even handed look at a shocking crime involving two young people. The book carefully explores the identities and challenges of both teenagers, the problems and potential solutions of the justice system, and societal shifts in gender acceptance. The performance was also very good, clear and solemn but never dull. Highly recommend!

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By bonnie on 01-07-18

Incredible story!

I learned so much about humanity as I listened to this story. Had no idea about the transgender and non-gendered world in which we live. I think after listening to this I have a much deeper respect and compassion for those who do not conform to societal norms regarding their gender or sexuality. I would recommend this book as a high school must read. Maybe it would help people understand the beauty of individualism in our young people.

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