Long Way Down

Long Way Down

Book - 2017
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As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know
Publisher: New York : Atheneum, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781481438254
Branch Call Number: YF Reyn
Characteristics: 306 pages


From Library Staff

Newbery Honor & Coretta Scott King Author Honor & Printz Honor & Odyssey Honor! Recommended for grades 7 and up.

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SPPL_Teens Apr 19, 2018

Got a reluctant teen reader? THIS is the book to grab for them. The story takes place over a span of 67 seconds and it is written in verse so it's a fast read that's still powerful and impactful. Will had to watch his brother get zipped up in a bag and rolled away, and now his mother is in the kitchen crying. With a gun and a target in mind, Will slips out of his apartment and steps into the elevator, never expecting how seven floors down could change everything as he knows it.

CMLibrary_akeller Mar 24, 2018

This novel in verse takes place in an elevator in the space of one minute and 7 seconds and it packs a punch. It's about Will who is planning on getting revenge for the death of his brother. Such a powerful story. Would highly recommend.

cmlibrary_rkimray Feb 27, 2018

This is an incredible story in verse, thoroughly engaging. I'm reviewing it here, but PLEASE try the audiobook, narrated by the author as only he can. The audiobook also includes a short author interview at the end. I can't recommend it enough.

Feb 25, 2018

While this is not my favorite style of writing, I do understand the need for verse vs. prose when taking a 60 second elevator ride.
This was a really good book with a very important message about how the actions of one can affect others, and there is usually a domino effect. The very last sentence tidily wraps up Will’s intentions.

Feb 23, 2018

I read this book as soon as I saw the author interviewed on the PBS News Hour., months ago. I also (for the first time ever) checked out the Jason Reynolds website. I highly recommend doing both. So, I was stunned to realize that I had not written a review. Now reading those that are already online, I don't need to repeat the glowing comments. But I would like to add that there was another dimension which I don't think has been addressed and that is the total "look" of this slim volume.

The actual size and shape of the book are reminiscent of an elevator. The designs and shadings of each individual page mimic the walls of an elevator that would be in a high rise housing project. And the numbers of the chapters are displayed like the buttons of the floors as it descends to the ground level. These things only appeared to me gradually as I rode down with Will to his final destination.

With this book, I have become aware that in making written art, there is more than just getting the words right. The presentation, and all that entails, is as important as the words on the page. It is obvious that in the visual arts the way they are displayed can make or break the experience of the viewer, And the genius that it takes to get each aspect to harmoniously promote the art should be appreciated. We do this when we view movies or go to a gallery. And now I will be more "visual" when I read!

DPLsheila Feb 15, 2018


OPL_KrisC Feb 03, 2018

This is a book that I finished in one sitting. That is how much I liked it. I couldn't put it down b/c I had to find out what happens to Will. I loved that it was written as a novel in verse.

RDPL_Teens Jan 22, 2018

A tale that largely takes place over the course of a few moments while the main character is travelling in his apartment building elevator on his way to seek vengeance for the murder of his older brother.

This is an emotional read about love, loss, and "following the rules" told in prose (poetry) format.

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


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OPL_KrisC Apr 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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