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.
The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts was first published in 1980, it is still available (check out Scholastic’s book club!) and continues to be relevant even today. Read more about how this book resonated with me as an Autistic tween.
Here’s an archives piece that will be even more relevant soon with a new version of A Wrinkle in Time hitting the big screen in the spring of 2018. The new movie will feature a Black Meg and given how infrequently Neurodiverse types are female, let alone girls of color, I am already thrilled by this casting.
Anyone who knows Madeleine L’Engle’s classic story, A Wrinkle in Time, the Newberry Award winner that was considered “too hard” for children and subsequently rejected over two dozen times, knows the story is special. It’s the story of a family whose professor father is missing and the journey his “misfit” children, Charles Wallace, the baby, and Meg Wallace, his eldest daughter, undertake to rescue him. Both mother and father have multiple doctorates and mom even works in a lab at home. This is normal to the Murry family (if not the town). To the Neurodivergent crowd, A Wrinkle in Time can be seen as one of those special stories that means a whole bunch.