“The 57 Bus” is Next All-School Read


The 2019 All-School Read is The 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater, pictured here with other recent All-School Reads (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

At School Meeting today, Assistant Head of School Mr. John Spear announced that The 57 Bus will be Northwood School’s 2019 All-School Read. Written by Dashka Slater and published in 2017, The 57 Bus is a true story that centers on the lives of two high school students in Oakland, California.

The publisher’s summary of the book reads:

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. The genre-bending story explores themes of community, gender, race, class, and justice.

In announcing the All-School Read, Mr. Spear noted that the book will provide students, faculty, and staff with ample opportunities to discuss the notion of Community, which is Northwood School’s theme for the 2019-2020 school year.

There is a web page dedicated to the All-School Read on Northwood’s site. That page includes a summary of the book, supplemental reading materials, discussion questions, and links to purchase the book.


Students in the living room check out The 57 Bus, Northwood’s 2019 All-School Read (Photo: Mr. John Spear).

Spear noted that students may download a free e-book version of The 57 Bus through Northwood’s library Overdrive account. See school librarian Ms. Sytske Martin for more information about downloading a free e-book.

Northwood has also partnered with Lake Placid’s independent bookstore, The Bookstore Plus, to make copies of The 57 Bus available for sale to the Northwood School community at the store’s Main Street location and through its web site. Links to ordering from The Bookstore Plus and other vendors are on the All-School Read’s web page.


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