Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


Long Way Down

“Don’t Nobody believe nothing
these days
which is why I haven’t
told nobody the story
I’m about to tell you.
And truth is,
you probably ain’t
gon’ believe it either
gon’ think I’m lying
or I’m losing it,
but I’m telling you,
this story is true.
It happened to me.
It did. It so did.”  

Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down.  Atheneum Books, 2017. 306                                                      pages. Hardcover. $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-3825-4

Will’s brother Shawn has just been shot and killed when this novel in verse begins.

In Will’s neighborhood, you live by 3 rules. Number One – No Crying. Number Two – No Snitching. Number Three – Always Seek Revenge.

Will, determined to follow the rules,  gets his brother’s gun and heads out to seek revenge.

But the next 60 seconds – the 60 seconds that Will spends on the elevator – will keep you reading – for sure. On each floor, a new visitor gets on the elevator – a person that Will knows – but that Will knows is dead.

Intense. Riveting. Thought provoking. Eye Opening. A must read.


You have to see this interview with Gayle King! Jason gets a call from Queen Latifah 🙂

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Link to Amazon.com    – Available in Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook (read by Jason Reynolds) and Kindle
Link to Worldcat.org



A Newbery Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Printz Honor Book
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
Winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award
Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner
An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017
A Vulture Best YA Book of 2017
A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2017


Jason Reynolds 2017

Courtesy of Amazon.com


Jason Reynold’s Twitter





Master Minds: Payback by Gordon Korman

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“‘We’re not criminals!’    

‘We kind of are,’ she reasons.  

‘ Just because we’re cloned from criminals doesn’t mean we did any of the stuff they’re in jail for,’ I insist.    

That’s what Serenity, New Mexico, turned out to be – not an actual town where people live and work and raise their kids, but a front for a twisted experiment called Project Osiris.”

 Korman, Gordon. Masterminds:Payback.  Balzer + Bray, 2017. 312 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-06-230005-8

 I didn’t realize when I read this book that it was the third in the series. No worries. I was able to understand what was going on and I loved the book. In fact, I think I’ll read the two books that preceded this one sometime. They are Masterminds and Masterminds:Criminal Destiny. In this book, four of the kids from Project Osiris are on the run and trying to find answers. It’s not that easy though. The Purple People Eaters (that’s what they call the people from Project Osiris) are looking for them. This leads to some pretty scary stuff – jumping onto the top of a moving RV – stealing a boat – living with a mob boss. You’ll have to read to find out how it turns out. What would you do if you found out you were a clone (of a criminal) and your whole life had been a lie?

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

        Gordon Korman’s Website 


Twitter Account 



Almost Home by Joan Bauer

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“I sighed. Sugar isn’t the easiest name to be slapped with, I’ll tell you. I was supposed to get named Susannah. I was supposed to be born in a hospital, too, but my whole life started as one big surprise when I got born in the back of a Chevy in the parking lot of the Sugar Shack in Baton Rouge in a rainstorm so bad, my parents couldn’t make it to the hospital. When I popped out and Reba saw the Sugar Shack sign, she felt it was a sign from God; right then I got my name. At least God told her to stop at Sugar. Sugar Shack Cole would have been a chore to live with. As for Mr. Leeland, he got the thrill of helping me be born, and believe me, he hasn’t done squat to help since.”

Bauer, Joan. Almost Home.  Viking, 2012. 264 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-670-01289-3

Sugar Cole calls her parents Reba and Mr. Leeland. Mr. Leeland has a gambling problem and is gone way more than he’s around. He also spends more of Sugar and her mom’s money than he contributes. Sugar Cole is a character – she is always writing – and she never forgets all the advice her grandpa gave her over the years before his death. She is strong and doesn’t let the bullying at school get her down. She befriends her English teacher, Mr. Bennett, who encourages her to keep writing and is always lifting her up (don’t we all need someone like that?). Reba and Sugar get evicted from their home and find themselves in a new town and homeless. This is the breaking point for Reba and she ends up in the hospital. Sugar ends up in a foster home and learns what it’s like to live in a stable environment. She loves her new home but she loves her mom. You’ll have to read for yourself to see what happens. I think you’ll like it. This story is full of letters and e-mails written by Sugar, Mr. B, and her mom. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. Give it a try.


Want to watch an interview with Joan Bauer? Here it is:

 “Almost. It’s a big word for me. I feel it everywhere. Almost home. Almost happy. Almost changed. Almost, but not quite. Not yet. Soon, maybe.” 
― Joan BauerAlmost Home

Courtesy of Penguin Books





Cover courtesy of Amazon.com

Zoe and Simon have something in common – they are both lonely. Zoe because her mother is dying of cancer and her father is always gone and Simon because he is a 300 year old vampire with no family. Simon is trying to avenge his mother’s death and stop the murders that have been happening in town while Zoe has to decide if she can trust Simon enough to help him.

Klause, Annette Curtis. The Silver Kiss. Delacorte Press, 1990. 238 pages. paperback. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-375-85782-9

Zoe’s mother is dying of cancer. Zoe’s father has checked out, he spends all his time with Zoe’s mom at the hospital and refuses to talk honestly to Zoe about the situation. Zoe’s best friend, Lorraine, is moving away. Can things get any worse? Enter Simon, a beautiful intriguing teenage boy, who just happens to be a 300 year-old vampire. Simon is just as lonely as Zoe and spends his days trying to avenge the death of his mother.  What will happen? Can Zoe trust Simon? Will Zoe be able to help him? And what is a Silver Kiss?

Link to Amazon.com

Link to World Cat.org

Available in:



Mass Market Paperback

Kindle Edition


Playaway Digital Audio


  • A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, 1990
  • A YALSA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, 1990
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1990
  • Booklist Best Book and Editor’s Choice, 1990
  • Michigan Library Association Young Adults Division Best Book of the Year Honor Book, 1990
  • Michigan Thumbs Up! Award Honor Book, 1991
  • 1991 Locus Poll Award – Best First Novel
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominee, 1992
  • Maryland Library Association Black-Eyed Susan Award, 1992-93
  • California Young Reader’s Medal, 1993
  • Oklahoma Library Association Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award, 1993
  • South Carolina Library Association Young Adult Award, 1993
  • Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee, 1993
  • One of the 100 Best of the Best Books for Young Adults–1967-1992, 1994
  • A YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults, 1999
  • One of the 100 Best of the Best Books for Young Adults–1967-1992, 2000
  • A YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults, 2009

Watch a book trailer :

Courtesy of YouTube.com

Interview with Annette Curtis Klause

Author Information Page

© Chris Peeler 2013