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





How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“The known facts surrounding the shooting death of sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson are few. On the evening of June 2, at approximately 5:30 P.M., Johnson sustained two nine-millimeter gunshot wounds to the torso. Police officers arrived at 5:37 P.M. Johnson was pronounced dead at 6:02 P.M. by EMTs at the scene. Police apprehended a person of interest, Jack Franklin, who was present when Johnson was shot but left the scene in a borrowed vehicle shortly afterward. Franklin was pulled over nearly four miles away from the site of the shooting, at 5:56 P.M. A nine-millimeter handgun, recently fired, was found in the back seat.

Magoon, Kekla. How it Went Down.  Henry Holt and Company, 2014. 325 pages. Hardcover. $20.50, ISBN 978-0-8050-9869-3

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—When 16-year-old Tariq, a black teen, is shot and killed by a white man, every witness has a slightly different perception of the chain of events leading up to the murder. Family, friends, gang members, neighbors, and a well-meaning but self-serving minster make up the broad cast of characters. The police bring their own personal biases to their investigation of the case. When all points of view are combined, the story of a young man emerges and with it, a narrative that plays out in communities across the country every day. Heartbreaking and unputdownable, this is an important book about perception and race. How It Went Down reads very much like Julius Lester’s Day of Tears (Hyperion, 2005) in a modern setting and for an older audience. With a great hook and relatable characters, this will be popular for fans of realistic fiction. The unique storytelling style and thematic relevance will make it a potentially intriguing pick for classroom discussion.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Want to read a truly lovely interview of Kekla Magoon? Here it is 🙂


  • Junior Library Guild Selection

Courtesy of keklamagoon.com

Kekla Magoon’s Website







© Chris Peeler 2013