Common Read 2018-2019
The 57 Bus: A True Story About Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
This relevant, nonfiction book is particularly well-timed; a number of today's pressing issues are discussed in this book, including race, class, socioeconomic status, gender and sexual identity, the juvenile justice system, choices, consequences, and the healing power of forgiveness.
About the Author
Journalist, novelist, and children's book author Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. Her novel for adults, The Wishing Box, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times, while her journalism honors include a gold Azbee, two Maggies, and a Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Alternative Newspapers, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the California State Bar, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. She is a former Who Made That columnist for the New York Times Magazine and has written on topics ranging from competitive jousting to criminal justice. The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Slater’s new non-fiction narrative, The 57 Bus: A True Story About Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, was released by Farrar Straus & Giroux in October 2017. (taken from Slater's website)
- January 2015 — New York Times Magazine article
- January 2015 — The Nation article: If You Read That ‘NYT’ Story About Two Teens in Oakland, Keep This in Mind by Dani McClain
- June 2016 — KALW Upshot radio segment (11:31 min): The Upshot: Fire on the 57 Bus in Oakland
This is an interview with Slater about her 2015 New York Times Magazine article.
- October 2017 — San Francisco Chronicle article: The Teen Who was Set Afire on the Bus: The Lives Behind a Shocking Assault by Otis R. Taylor, Jr.
- January 2018 — KALW radio segment (12:26 min): On the 57 Bus, A True-crime Story of Gender, Race, Class, and Growing Up by Ben Trefny & Christine Nguyen
In this interview, Slater reads two excerpts from her book The 57 Bus to offer a sense of Richard and Sasha: Richard’s letter to Sasha from jail and a post from Sasha’s Tumblr blog. Discussion focuses mostly on criminal justice and wealth, race, and inequality issues. Slater expresses her hope that the empathy shown by the two families involved will resonate most with readers.
Inclusive Teaching Resources
- The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts developed an extensive, thoughtfully presented, and well-organized site for materials on inclusive teaching, including resources for in-class discussions and exercises, videos of students engaged in this work, and suggested readings.
- Facing History and Ourselves is a non-profit organization creating educational resources on issues of prejudice and injustice primarily in the U.S. and Europe. They provide units of study including readings, multimedia materials, and lessons on media literacy, race, LGBTQ history, civic engagement, etc. that could be easily adapted for humanities and social sciences courses. See unit examples.
- The New York Times Learning Network developed the teaching resource, 25 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students along with suggested activities and readings.
Gender Spectrum Resources
- Understanding Gender by Gender Spectrum
- Gender Nation Glossary by Refinery29
- Project Implicit
Individuals can learn their implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, skin tone, religion, etc. No personally identifying information is collected. Visit the site to learn more about the researchers who designed and participate in the project.
- A visually-updated take on some of Project Implicit's quizzes by MTV’s “Look Different” campaign, in partnership with Project Implicit.
2018-19 Common Read Selection Committee
Dr. Shadia Sachedina, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students
Dr. Patrick Knisley, Dean for the School of Liberal Arts (Co-chair)
Dr. Sarah Blazer, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of The Writing Studio
Naomi Schwer Bricker, Librarian, Gladys Marcus Library
Dr. Katelyn Burton, Assistant Professor, English and Communication Studies
Mariah Connelly, student
Delphine Horvath, Assistant Professor, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing
Tardis Johnson, Associate Dean for Student Academic Support, Academic Advisement
Ladeem 'Monet' Michael, student
Carmita Sanchez-Fong, Professor and Chairperson, Interior Design
Catlin Wojtkowski, Counselor, Department of Student Life
Nedean Wilson, Counselor Associate, Academic Advisement