by Dashka Slater
Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The 57 Bus comes Accountable, a propulsive and thought-provoking true story about the revelation of a racist social media account that changes everything for a group of high school students and begs the question: What does it mean to be held accountable for harm that takes place behind a screen?
When a high school student started a private Instagram account that used racist and sexist memes to make his friends laugh, he thought of it as "edgy" humor. Over time, the edge got sharper. Then a few other kids found out about the account. Pretty soon, everyone knew.
Ultimately no one in the small town of Albany, California, was safe from the repercussions of the account's discovery. Not the girls targeted by the posts. Not the boy who created the account. Not the group of kids who followed it. Not the adults--educators and parents--whose attempts to fix things too often made them worse.
In the end, no one was laughing. And everyone was left asking: Where does accountability end for online speech that harms? And what does accountability even mean?
Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Dashka Slater has written a must-read book for our era that explores the real-world consequences of online choices.
Target age: 12 to 18
"This meticulous retelling from Slater, author of the best-selling, Stonewall-winning The 57 Bus, documents the ensuing events: shock, outrage, accusations, protests, threats, firings, lawsuits, and the aftermath... This is a compelling and contemporary cautionary tale that should be required reading for any teen before they create, comment, or even like a media post." -- Booklist, starred review
"Journalist and author Slater once again achieves another level of introspection about society through the lens of teen behavior... The shocking reality that Albany could be any town is what sustains the rabid interest in seeing how the story plays out since it touches on many aspects of contemporary culture... This is a well-timed page-turner due to Slater's investigative reporting and must be read, shared, and discussed. Make this a priority purchase." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Despite the plethora of books, both fiction and nonfiction, that take a stab at exploring American race-relations, I've never read anything like this one. Not only does Accountable reach far beyond Black and white, it gives readers--especially young ones--searing insight into the consequences of unchecked biases, both external and internalized. Again, Dashka Slater has gifted us with an immaculate page-turner of a book--made even more powerful by the fact that everything in it is true." -- Nic Stone, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Dear Martin
About the Author:
Dashka Slater is an award-winning journalist and has written for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Salon, and Mother Jones. Her New York Times-bestselling young-adult true crime narrative, The 57 Bus, has received numerous accolades, including the Stonewall Book Award, the California Book Award, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. It was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist and an LA Times Book Award Finalist, in addition to receiving four starred reviews and being named to more than 20 separate lists of the year's best books, including ones compiled by the Washington Post, the New York Public Library, and School Library Journal. In 2021, The 57 Bus was named to Time magazine's list of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. The author of fifteen books of fiction and nonfiction for children and adults, Dashka teaches in Hamline University's MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives and writes in Oakland, California.