The Big Gay Read with the cover of The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

The Ann Arbor District Library presents the 2022 Big Gay Read: The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.

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About The 57 Bus
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.

About the Author
Best-selling author Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. An award-winning journalist who writes for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones, she is also the author of eleven books of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. 

The 57 Bus has received numerous accolades, including the 2018 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association and the 2018 Beatty Award from the California Library Association. It was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist, an LA Times Book Award Finalist, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Young Adult Book of the Year, in addition to receiving four starred reviews and being named to more than 18 separate lists of the year’s best books, including ones compiled by the Washington Post, the New York Public Library, and School Library Journal.

The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Slater grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts but has spent most of her adult life in Oakland, California, where she is always working on far too many writing projects.


Author Event: Dashka Slater: The 57 Bus
Wednesday, September 21 • 6-7:30pm • Downtown Library
Dashka Slater, author of this year's Big Gay Read title The 57 Bus, will discuss the book, her process for writing it, and more.


Teen Pride Book Talk: Big Gay Read Episode | The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
Monday, August 22 • 4-4:30pm • AADL.TV
Lucy recommends LGBTQIA+ focused books for teens. A great way to get ideas for new titles. Books highlighted in this series are available from AADL and Overdrive. This episode features The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater, in conjunction with The Big Gay Read. The 57 Bus is recommended for ages 12 and up.

A Conversation with the Youth Justice Fund
Monday, August 23 • 6:30-7:30pm • Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room
Join AADL staff members as they discuss The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.

Pronouns Explainer
Tuesday, September 13 • 5-5:30pm • AADL.TV
Learn about pronouns and identity with a teen leader from Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH).

Public Discussion: The 57 Bus
Thursday, September 15 • 6:30-7:30pm • Westgate
Join AADL and community members in a facilitated discussion of The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater, this year's Big Gay Read.

AADL Staff Discussion: The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
Saturday, September 17 • 4-5:00pm • AADL.TV
Join AADL staff members as they discuss The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.

Discussing The 57 Bus with Community Leaders
Saturday, September 24 • 2-3:00pm • AADL.TV
Join AADL, Dr. Jennifer Tang (Everwell Health and Counseling) and Carolyn Stilwell (Dispute Resolution Center) as they explore The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. We will touch on topics from the book as they pertain to the world we live in.

Haven't read the book? No problem! These events will be fruitful for anyone interested in non-binary/trans identities, teenage brain development, and restorative justice.