Long Way Down

Long Way Down

Book - 2017
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There are three rules in the neighborhood: Don't cry ; Don't snitch ; Get revenge. Will takes his dead brother Shawn's gun, and gets in the elevator on the 7th floor. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to Shawn gets on. Someone already dead. Dead by teenage gun violence. And each has something to share with Will.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781481438254
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 22 cm


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SAPL_Teens Mar 16, 2021

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds was such a heartbreaking book. It was so compelling and very mystifying. The things that were discussed reached my heart and help me to understand what people will be going through in situations like that. The main character of the story is William, Will to his friends. Will's brother Shawn, had just been murdered brutally in front of him, and he knew who killed him. We are told that there are three rules in his area. Those rules are don't snitch, don't cry, and get revenge. Following those rules, he gets on the elevator to get the person who killed his brother. But on his way down, he encounters people who had a big influence on his life. And as the elevator continues to descend, he continues to question his choices and question the rules that have been set by all the people before him. This book was such a crazy ride, with all of its twists and turns along the way. When I was reading this book I felt so shocked and sad at the ending. This book is written in the style of poems, but it works so well for the context. It does contain very sensitive topics that could be frightening or even upsetting to other people. But if you are looking for a very deep and emotional read then this is definitely the book to do it. 5/5 stars - Maade, SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

Jan 24, 2021

I literally couldn’t put it down I read in 30 mins. It’s a book where you are like what happened next , who is he about to meet noww. I enjoyed it !

Jan 19, 2021

Long Way Down
By Jason Reynolds

The book Long Way Down, is a contemporary young adult story about a kid who faces a conflicting decision after learning about the death of his brother. It's written in poetry format and slowly uncovers the layers of his identity. I really liked this book because it was so fascinating to see how such a sparse amount of words can make such an emotional impact. While poetry most of the time does not go well with me because of its obscure meaning and inability to connect, Mr. Reynolds really did a good job here with using poetry as a good tool. His story, while not a new one, is one that is well done in its genre.

JCLEmilyD Dec 07, 2020

I LOVE Jason Reynolds' Long Way Down novel in verse. The power of this text comes from the rhythm and pace created by free verse narrative. Jason Reynolds masterfully creates a riveting narrative full of emotion and suspense. Excellent.

Sep 30, 2020

Written in prose, Long Way Down is a read you can’t put down or stop thinking about. The story takes place in a single elevator ride that determines fifteen year old Will’s future. He lost his brother Shawn through gun violence just the day before and hops on the elevator with the intent of avenging his brother, when he starts to see people of his past join him on the ride each floor he reaches. Throughout the story, I found myself crying for Will and his life experiences, while wondering if he was going to carry out his revenge. I also loved how the writing was written in prose because it allowed the book to shine through with artisticness and let the plot unfold in the perfect way. If you’re looking for a mature, gut-wrenching read, I recommend Long Way Down.

Sep 08, 2020

To be honest I was really on the fence about this book. I kind of liked it and at the same time I felt like this story was completely unfinished. If you are the type of person that at the end of a book you like things to be wrapped up, nice and neat and you like when all your questions are answered, THEN THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU! This book had the biggest cliff hanger ending. I believe the author Jason Reynolds wanted readers to come to their own conclusion about how the story would end. I personally hated this! I need all my questions answered or it will literally keep me up at night. In this novel a boy named Will is riding on an elevator, getting ready to shoot the man he thinks is responsible for this brothers death. As he rides the elevator down to where he knows the man is hiding the elevator stops on each floor and a different ghost gets on the elevator. Each ghost is somehow related to Will the main character's past. The ghosts tell Will how they were also gun shot victims the story of their own deaths. I found this book to be really repetitive, which I guess was the point... but I just found it to be boring and predictable. This book is written in short verse, so it was a relatively quick read, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Like I said I like things to have somewhat of an ending and this book ended very much up in the air and as a reader you will receive no answers. I loved the writing style immensely, but I just didn't love the repetitive plot or the ending.

Aug 26, 2020

Modern Mrs Darcy

Aug 25, 2020

Middle school/teen book

Aug 03, 2020

Love the counting down as the elevator lowers for each chapter. Don't let the poetry intimidate you. Read it anyway. Powerful ending. This would make a great "add another chapter for the end" writing activity, as it could go so many ways.

Jul 26, 2020

Jason Reynolds nails it. Know someone who thinks reading is boring? This book isn’t. Know someone who thinks poems are for old people? Not this one. Know someone who thinks grownups don’t know anything about the real world? Not this grown-up. Jason Reynolds’ writing changes opinions, minds...and hearts. Spread the word.

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Jan 19, 2021

1234ravenmore thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 25, 2020

blue_cheetah_13191 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 18, 2019

TheBookTheif thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 03, 2018

amma13888 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote
Jun 18, 2019

it's weird to know
a person you don't know

and at the same time

not know
a person you know,

you know?”

Jun 18, 2019


is when you take a word and rearrange the letters to make another word. And sometimes the words are still somehow connected ex: CANOE = OCEAN. Same letters, different words, somehow still make sense together, like brothers.”

Jun 18, 2019



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