Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Summer Reading 2018

Home Page for Summer Reading 2018, including book selection guide, topic support materials, and more!

Why Choose This Book?

The 57 Bus, CoverThe 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater (2017)

One teenager with 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.  - GoodReads

Read this book if...

  • You want to explore what "Justice" means for both a victim and a perpetrator, both within and outside of the justice "system".
  • You like  to read non-fiction that tells both sides of a story in a balanced way
  • You have an interest in understanding the perspectives of people of non-binary gender, or people of color.
  • You are comfortable with a book that centers around, but does not focus on, an act of violence.

 

More About the Book

News Reports

Oakland California Victim in Bus Burning Fire

News Report from the day after the incident.

Sasha Fleischman's Mother Speaks After Richard Thomas Pleads 'No Contest' to Assault

Theme-based Questions for Any Book on the Reading List

Theme-based Guided Questions for All Books

Consider these questions as you are reading your book. Having answers to them, with quotations from the book (cite the  page number) as supporting evidence will be very helpful when it is time to discuss and assess your reading.

Before you start reading ... How do you (the reader) define "justice"?

While you read the book
  • How did your book define "justice", and what evidence could you provide to support that definition?
  • Did your own perception of justice or injustice change as you read your book, and if so, how?"

In each book one or more issues of social injustice is present (ex. Racism, Sexism, Poverty,  etc.).  Be prepared to list specific examples and events from your book. These injustices often lead to conflicts between people (person vs person) and society or cultures (person vs society).

Consider also:
  • How are the characters or people in the book affected by injustice?
  • What conflicts arise between people and the society or culture surrounding them?
  • How are the injustices connected? (if you see more than one injustice in the book)
  • How are the injustices addressed? How are the conflicts resolved?
    • How did you feel about the way the injustices were addressed and/or the conflicts resolved?
    • Would you suggest another way to address the injustices or resolve the conflicts?
Consider also:
  • are they the main characters of the story, other people, both?
  • are they those who have suffered injustice? Direct witnesses of injustice? Well-meaning outsiders?
  • What finally inspires them to action?  What obstacles stand in their way?
  • What conflicts do those who take action face?
Consider also:
  • Are they large actions, small actions? Local? National? International?
  • How do they attempt to address or make changes to the injustice?
  • How are those actions received? Do they generate any conflicts?
  • What is their impact on culture or society?
  • What challenges are faced in taking action?

Similar Books in our Library

Symptoms of Being Human

A gender-fluid teenager who struggles with identity creates a blog on the topic that goes viral, and faces ridicule at the hands of fellow students" Some days Riley Cavanaugh identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet: between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure is building. On the advice of a therapist Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But when the blog goes viral, Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created-- or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

The Big Book of Restorative Justice

Monster

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

So You Want to Talk about Race

Gender Issues and Sexuality

A focus on leading social issues of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Each title contains approximately 175 full or excerpted documents---speeches, legislation, magazine and newspaper articles, essays, memoirs, letters, interviews, novels, songs, and works of art---as well as overview information that places each document in context.

Race to Incarcerate

A graphic novel adaptation of Marc Mauer's study of criminal justice policy in the U.S. that discusses the explosion in prison populations in recent years, and considers the reasons why the national approach to solving crime has been to rely on the prison at the expense of other more effective and humane responses.

The Real Cost of Prisons Comix

A collection of comics based on real case histories of those who have been involved in the U.S. prison system, examining the social and community costs and various impacts of mass incarceration, with reader responses and statistics about the economic impact of prisons in specific communities.

The Griots of Oakland

What is it like being a young African American man? The media repeats the same stereotypes again and again, yet the reality is much more diverse. This eye-opening and beautifully presented book shares the voices and images of a group of young black men in Oakland, interviewed by their peers in a groundbreaking oral history project.

Gale - Opposing Viewpoints

Topic Pages from GALE Opposing Viewpoints in Context & Global Issues in Context

The following issues are among those that are evident in this book.  Each term below links to a topic page on GALE Opposing Viewpoints in Context or Global Issues in Context, which are databases that contain: viewpoint essays; newspaper, magazine, and academic journal articles; reference sources;  primary source documents; and more.

Passwords for Off-Campus GALE Database use are available on Canvas.