I recently read The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. I picked it up due to reviews, without really knowing what it was about.
Given I’m working on my pronouns in the wake of Siri-gate, it was quite timely for me.
It’s the story of an incident on a bus in which a Black teen lit an agendered person on fire. They were just napping on the bus when the Black teen got the idea of lighting their skirt on fire. The skirt burned too hot, too fast, and they were very damaged as a result.
This is told as a narrative journalism where the author interviewed everyone involved. It is particularly helpful because it goes over a lot of terminology including pronoun usage in such a way as to explain it in a very neutral fashion, which can make it a little easier for someone like me who is still working on pronouns. The reason the race of the perpetrator matters since it’s also a story about his identity as well. It’s a very powerful story.
What I particularly like about the book is that Slater doesn’t make the story about “Dashka-the-author”; rather, she presents both teenagers’ stories and then you’re not sure who you’re mad at, by the end. It is a story of an incident, and well told.
And as it’s YA lit, it’s a quick read, besides.