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: YA FICTION Reynolds Jason 10/2017
Characteristics: 306 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Will's brother Shawn has been murdered. In this free-verse novel, fifteen-year-old Will steps into an elevator with a gun in the back waistband of his jeans, ready to avenge his brother's death, as he’s been taught to do. At each stop on the elevator down, someone connected to his brother gets on... Read More »

Jason Reynolds is such an amazing writer, and these poems beautifully reveal the powerful story of Will's haunting elevator journey. The idea of a different ghost getting on the elevator at each floor is quite clever. Though I knew each new character was delivering the same message, I was always ... Read More »

List - Quick Reads for Teens
JCLEmmaF Jul 17, 2018

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. its beautifully written verse format makes it a swift read.

List - 2018 Edgar Winners

Winner for best young adult

JCLChrisK Dec 14, 2017

Will knows one way to grieve, dictated by the rules passed down for generations: no crying; no snitching; always get revenge. His uncle and father have already been victim to the cyclic system created by these rules, and last night his brother joined them. Will is desperately heartbroken, so he f... Read More »

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Jul 07, 2018

This book is BEYOND amazing!! It is so amazing and I read it all in one day I 100% recommend it for anyone who is thinking about reading it!!!!

ArapahoeErinR May 31, 2018

There are rules and you are taught to follow them, but what happens when you are reminded that everyone else in your life who has followed the rules is alive? This book will keep you thinking about choices long after you finish it.

May 30, 2018

Brutal. Incredible. Raw. Thought-provoking. Genuine. A tear-your-heart-out read that gives you nothing to hold on to on your way down with the crew. I loved every moment of it, and as everyone likely knows by now, poetry is not my favorite, so that's a big deal for me to say. Reynolds put his whole heart and soul into this one, and it shows.

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.

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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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