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. (source: Macmillian Publishers)
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater has been selected again as UNC Charlotte’s Common Reading Experience text for Fall 2021. The committee is confident that this sensitive, powerful book will spark discussions of systemic inequalities, cultural diversity, and self-awareness. We are excited to see what instructors who adopt the text will be able to do for and with their students to increase their understanding of a complex world. We encourage wide-scale campus engagement with, and first-year course adoption of, The 57 Bus.
Author Dashka Slater will visit campus and speak to the public on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Her talk will be at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Multipurpose Room.
The Common Reading Experience at UNC Charlotte provides a shared academic experience to assist first-year students in their transition to the university. The program offers opportunity for self-reflection, critical thinking, student interaction, and understanding of diverse perspectives.
Former Common Reading Selections
|2020||The 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater|
|2019||Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream, by Joshua Davis|
|2018||Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah|
|2017||The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez|
|2016||Find Me Unafraid, by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner|
|2015||The Postmortal, by Drew Magary|
|2014||The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers|
|2013||Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, by Doc Hendley|
|2012||Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference, by Warren St. John|
|2011||How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America, by Moustafa Bayoumi|
|2010||The Blue Sweater, by Jacqueline Novogratz|
|2009||Listening is an Act of Love, by Dave Isay|
|2008||Enrique's Journey, by Sonia Nazario|
|2007||The Color of Water, by James McBride|