Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
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.
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.
Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds, is a really thoughtful book told in a type of verse. It is a very quick read, but packs a punch in the interesting way the subject is addressed, as well as the way characters are introduced. Will, at 15 years old, experiences gun violence firsthand. He knows the rules of the street, and sets off believing he must follow them. Along the way, some strange encounters with people from his past cause Will to raise questions about his path as he works his way toward a decision. I enjoyed the creativity of the writing of this book as well as the way characters were introduced, and the way those characters’ stories cause Will, and the reader, to think. It’s a great book for discussion after reading.