Long Way Down (MP3 CD)
"Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest, All American Boys) is already one of the best writers in any genre, so I had high expectations for Long Way Down, Jason's first novel written in verse. Those expectations were shattered...and a half. This gritty, surreal story is really a polemic on the corrosive nature of revenge, and it is BRILLIANT! The last line is as good a closing to a book as I've read in a long time. This will be taught in schools for years to come... Read it." - Len Vlahos, owner— Len Vlahos
Long Way Down navigates gun violence through verse within the claustrophobic confines of a smoky elevator, conjuring a moment-to-moment story that must be followed until the fateful finale. Will’s brother has just been shot and killed, leaving Will traveling down six stories with a gun tucked into his waistband for revenge. He must follow his neighborhood’s Rules for avenging deaths, but past tragedies probe the future’s consequences and make Will’s confrontation more complex than he originally thought. Fans of Reynolds’ previous All American Boys (co-written with author Brendan Kiely) or Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give will find another worthy Coretta Scott King honoree in the electric and urgent Long Way Down.— M. Rae K., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board member
April 2019 Indie Next List
“A novel in verse that spans the length of time it takes for an elevator to descend, Long Way Down finds Will mourning the death of his brother and grappling with the burden of avenging his murder. Will’s grief permeates every page, from his recollections of everyday childhood memories to his encounters with other figures from his past whose lives were destroyed by gun violence. Jason Reynolds says more with a stanza than most authors can say with a chapter.”
— Lelia Nebeker, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019
And then there were shots....
Everybody ran, ducked, hid, tucked themselves tight. Pressed our lips to the pavement and prayed the boom, followed by the buzz of a bullet, didn't meet us.
After Will's brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps. Don't cry. Don't snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with Shawn's gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will's friend who died years ago. And Dani, who was shot years before that.
As more people from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he's doing. This haunting, lyrical, powerful verse novel will blow you away.