9.16.19 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week


the titles we are currently reading.}




A YALSA 2018 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Selection
A Newbery Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Printz Honor Book
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
Vulture Best YA Book of 2017
Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2017


This is 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.


My Thoughts:

I’ve heard these stories on the news before and I’ve also seen movies where the character wants to take revenge on someone who killed a friendbrotherbuddyrelative. I get it—the need for revenge must run hot in the blood. If someone harmed or killed a person I loved, it would take a lot of self-control to fight back the desire to take justice into my own hands.

But where does it end? Who will end the cycle of violence?

This reminded me a little of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Story Carol where Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. They recount his story and help him to see why he is the way he is. The future ghost is most convincing as he shows Scrooge what his future will look like if he continues down the same path. Kind of like the ghost in this book show Will.

One of the cool things about novels written in verse is that they are quick-hitting. There’s not a lot of room for fluffy descriptions that don’t ultimately matter. There are fewer words available, so each one counts for more. I like how intense that makes the book.





Period 2&3 read 2 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 7 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 2 books this past week.






or 9780358040828






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