Long Way Down

Long Way Down

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Driven by the secrets and vengeance that mark his street culture, 15-year-old Will contemplates over the course of 60 psychologically suspenseful seconds whether or not he is going to murder the person who killed his brother. By the National Book Award finalist author of When I Was the Greatest. Simultaneous eBook.

Simon and Schuster
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
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 National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning 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.

Publisher: New York :, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9781481438278
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


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Beatricksy Jan 03, 2018

Masterful. Punchy free verse that feels like a sock to the gut. Relentless, gorgeous, and awe-inspiring. A deeply, deeply important tale told beautifully and shockingly. Within five pages I wanted to throw this book at people. By the end, I knew I'd read something special. Even if poetry isn't your usual thing, give this one a try. It's easy and natural to read, and well worth the time.

Dec 20, 2017


nmaryann Dec 15, 2017

One of my favourite, most powerful, YA titles of the year, told in verse.

In an interview, Jason Reynolds describes why he wrote this narrative in a series of poems: "The truth is that poetry specifically, for books like this, they create a certain level of urgency. This kid is in an elevator and to write a story in prose just didn't seem to fit. He's in a small space, and so because he is in a small space it made sense to use language in small spaces, right. To create small, almost like creating tiny elevators on each page that you have to step into and step out of almost..."

Austenite1975 Dec 06, 2017

This is such a fantastic book! Easily my favorite YA book of 2017. Of course, I am a big Jason Reynolds fan, so I was already disposed to love this book. It is written in verse, which is a very good format for this particular story. Each verse packs a visceral punch and by the end, you are on the edge of your seat, hoping Will makes the "right" choice!

Dec 05, 2017

When Will's older brother is shot and killed, everything he knows and has been taught comes down to three things: don't cry, don't snitch, get revenge. Armed with his brother's gun, he takes the elevator to the lobby to find his target. But on each floor a ghost from his past joins him.

Long Way Down is written in verse and the format works really well. I thought I knew where the story was going until the last two words. At first I thought Reynolds missed the mark but the more I think about it and try to put myself into the shoes of young men for which this is their reality, the more powerful it becomes.

samcmar Nov 15, 2017

Intense, scary, and mind-blowing. Jason Reynolds words are just so amazing and inspiring and I love reading about his characters. I love that he "sees" those kids who often get neglected by society. Long Way Down is pretty damn powerful and should be read by anyone who has met kids like Will or has been Will. Loved this book and it's going to be lingering with me long after.

AL_MARY Nov 13, 2017

The Rules are The Rules. And when your brother is shot and killed, you follow them, no matter what. That's what Will has always been taught, and on his way to fulfill Rule #3, he takes an eventful trip down an elevator that may (or may not) make him reconsider. This novel in verse is a quick gut-punch of a read that will stick with you long after you finish. Would be excellent to share with a group of teens for a discussion afterwards.

AL_TIEGAN Nov 10, 2017

The only choice we think we have is not the only choice. This novel in verse beautifully shows how when we make the same choice everyone else has made before us, despite it not ending well and not always even being correct, we are locking ourselves down a path that will trap us. While The Rules may be the rules, they don't really have to be. We can change things. It just takes courage to decide to make a different choice, to recognize the mistakes in all the choices made before and see that there is another way, a better way. This one pulls at your heart and really has the opportunity to open a beautiful dialogue.

AL_ALYSONC Nov 04, 2017

I don't always like books written in verse, but the format is brilliant here. Gut wrenching powerful story that everyone should read.

AL_BRIDGET Oct 13, 2017

A quick read, this has a fascinating storytelling style. It's a great book about family, friends, and the lengths we go to when we try to protect both. I read it in one sitting, and I didn't cry but it was kind of a close thing. Maybe read it with some tissues on hand.

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