“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
“In this gripping true story, Slater draws on her journalistic skills, utilizing interviews, court documents, social media and other sources to pull together a compelling full picture of an event that ripped apart a community and deeply impacted the lives of everyone involved. . .No teen is absolved of their conduct, but everyone is understood and fully humanized.”
– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED REVIEW
"This is a well-timed page-turner due to Slater’s investigative reporting and must be read, shared, and discussed."
— School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Award-winning journalist Dashka Slater (The 57 Bus) brilliantly dissects a true-crime story, exhibiting its different parts for readers and presenting a balanced narrative that illustrates the nuances inherent in all interpersonal interactions, whether in person or online."
— Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
"If I could pick a single book for a national book read it would be Slater’s just published Accountable."
— Kenny Brechner, owner of DDG Booksellers, in Publishers Weekly's Shelf Talker
"Emotionally raw . . . Raising essential questions about accountability and complicity, this pertinent read encourages personal reflection and presents a balanced, non confrontational look into a situation that, as one student affirms, had gone “a little too far.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The author of the acclaimed The 57 Bus (2017) delves into another complex story involving teens, personal choices, and societal forces . . . Slater’s thorough research includes candid interviews with those on both sides. She accessibly explores edgy meme culture, online hate speech, the students’ social dynamics, a disastrous mediation session, the school district’s actions, subsequent lawsuits, and how individuals were affected post-graduation. Short, punchy chapters offer interestingly varied formats and perspectives. The book will spark deep reflection on degrees of complicity, whether and when to forgive, what contributes to genuine remorse and change, and what parents and educators could have done differently . . . Thorough, thought-provoking, and all too relevant.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“In Accountable, Dashka Slater offers a nuanced look at multiple notions of justice while magnifying the impact of racism on those harmed and those that caused the harm. This book is powerful, timely, and delicately written.”
— Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times–bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
“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
“Accountable is a gripping look at the various impacts of racism, the gray areas of responsibility, and the boundaries of friendship. This is nonfiction at its finest.”
— Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
“An urgent read for every teen who uses social media. Dashka Slater has created a deeply researched, nuanced story about the intersection of old wounds and new technology—and how a few thoughtless moments can undo an entire community. It is an absolute page-turner, more powerful because every word in it is true. Slater is at the top of her game. Don’t miss this book.”
— Martha Brockenbrough, award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary
“While it’s marketed toward young adults, this work of narrative nonfiction is relevant to readers of all ages who grapple with the consequences of toxic online speech.”
– San Francisco Chronicle
"I cannot even begin to say how important Dashka Slater's book is. Certainly EVERY teenager should read it as a condition of being on social media, but honestly? Adults--especially parents and educators--need to read it too. Slater has compellingly, sensitively and usefully distilled crucial issues in the zeitgeist in a way that no one else has managed to do. Accountable is magnificent.”
— Peggy Orenstein, author of the New York Times bestsellers Boys & Sex, Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Waiting for Daisy
“The only nonfiction title on this list, Accountable seeks to answer uncomfortable questions about a disturbing incident in the Bay Area town of Albany, desperate to protect its reputation of tolerance without doing the work to create a genuine culture of restorative justice. When a racist instagram account run by several students becomes public knowledge, students targeted by the account are furious—and they become ever more so, as their demands for consequences are redirected into limited measures aimed at optics. Slater is deeply empathetic in her approach, but still maintains a strong moral thread of condemnation and commitment toward a clear path of advocacy.”
– Crime Reads
"Slater’s book is an eye-opener. Her ability to treat both the victims of the harassment and its perpetrators with compassion and understanding, without minimizing the culpabilities of the latter, is masterful."