Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


All the year-end best lists are coming out and it was hard not to notice Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds on many of them.  After a quick Google search, I came across an article by the Washington Post. The article revealed that Reynolds didn’t see his experiences reflected in required school reading, and in turn, didn’t read a book cover-to-cover until the age of 17.  Today, Reynolds is able to use the stories of his own upbringing to write real, raw stories that young people can connect to.

In Long Way Down, fifteen-year-old Will is set out to avenge his brother’s death. During the 60 second ride down his apartment’s elevator, seven ghosts from Will’s past make him reconsider “the rules” – don’t cry, don’t snitch, get revenge.

I liked that the ending was open to interpretation. I’m left wondering about Will’s decision and if the cycle of violence was broken. An engaging, quick and necessary read.


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