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Long Way Down (2017)

by Jason Reynolds

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2721396,774 (4.36)59
Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:"An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger." â??Booklist (starred review)
"Astonishing." â??Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A tour de force." â??Publishers Weekly (starred review)

/>
A Newbery Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Printz Honor Book

A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021)
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 secondsâ??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 Jas… (more)
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» See also 59 mentions

English (138)  Dutch (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
This. Was. Good.
That is all. ( )
  Dances_with_Words | Jan 6, 2024 |
People are all jacked up about the supposedly ambiguous ending to this book. It's not ambiguous. Go back and read the first two pages. ( )
  meallenreads | Oct 24, 2023 |
What a gifted writer with a voice that needs to be heard and celebrated. I would recommend this to anyone or any book club. There are a lot of layers in this quick read. Don’t let the choice of prose dissuade you. Reynolds is a master in this format and you will get lost in the story before you get lost in verse. ( )
  MsTera | Oct 10, 2023 |
A sad quick read. Heartbreaking actually. ( )
  jjbinkc | Aug 27, 2023 |
There isn't a thing I would change about this book, in plot or in verse. ( )
  eurydactyl | Jul 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For all the young brothers and sisters in detention centers around the country, the ones I’ve seen, and the ones I haven’t. You are loved.
First words
DON’T NOBODY
believe nothing
these days
which is why I haven’t
told nobody the story
I’m about to tell you.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with the graphic novel
Publisher's editors
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Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:"An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger." â??Booklist (starred review)
"Astonishing." â??Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A tour de force." â??Publishers Weekly (starred review)


A Newbery Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Printz Honor Book

A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021)
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 secondsâ??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 Jas

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