Book Review: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Wow! This memorable novel deserves every award it received. Jason
Reynolds tells this dramatic story involving teenage gun violence in short
powerful poems. Reynolds has explained, setting the entire book in an elevator,
he wanted to mimic the feelings of anger, pain, and helplessness.
Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother was murdered, and he knows
the rules. He doesn’t cry. He takes his brother’s gun and is on his way to get revenge.
As the elevator stops at each floor, another “person” gets on and adds to the
story, another link in the chain reaction. The elevator ride also gives the
impression of being trapped in this cycle. When will it end?
Within these short poems, Reynolds develops his characters and
their relationships with a punch. His writing is brilliant. I will read this
book again and look forward to reading more of his books.