Long Way Down
Description"An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger." --Booklist (starred review) "Astonishing." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A tour de force." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) A Newbery Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Honor Book A Printz Honor Book A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner for Young Adult Literature Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature Winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award An Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Fiction Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017 A Vulture Best YA Book of 2017 A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2017 An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds's electrifying novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds--the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he's going to murder the guy who killed his brother.A cannon. A strap. A piece. A biscuit. A burner. A heater. A chopper. A gat. A hammer A tool for RULE Or, you can call it a gun. That's what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That's where Will's now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother's gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he's after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that's when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn's gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn't know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck's in the elevator? Just as Will's trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck's cigarette. Will doesn't know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES. And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END...if Will gets off that elevator. Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.
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About the Author
"This novel['s] potency is increased by the narration of author Jason Reynolds...Reynolds excels at delivering dramatic pauses in the short poems, which are packed with sensory details and emotions that anchor listeners even as they stun with painful beauty...As if the raw poignancy isn't enough, Reynolds's rich voice transports listeners...Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award."-- "AudioFile"
"A tour de force from a writer who continues to demonstrate his skill as an exceptionally perceptive chronicler of what it means to be a black teen in America."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"A raw, powerful, and emotional depiction of urban violence. The structure of the novel heightens the tension, as each stop of the elevator brings a new challenge until the narrative arrives at its taut, ambiguous ending."-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
"Spanning a mere one minute and seven seconds, Reynolds' new free-verse novel is an intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger...Reynolds' concise verses echo like shots... In this all-too-real portrait of survival, Reynolds goes toe-to-toe with where, or even if, love and choice are allowed to exist."-- "Booklist (starred review)"
"Readers learn about the cycle of violence in which Will is caught up. The protagonist faces a difficult choice, one that is a reality for many young people...This powerful work is an important addition to any collection."-- "School Library Journal (starred review)"
"Will's voice emerges through free-verse poems that are arresting in their imagery and convincing in their conversational cadence. Gripping and lightning fast, this will be a strong recommendation for discussion, particularly within groups of varied reading interests and abilities."-- "Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)"