Long way down by Jason Reynolds. @JasonReynolds83 Powerful and haunting verse novel that will stay with me a very long time

Posted: May 7, 2018 in Secondary
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Long way down

By Jason Reynolds

Illustrated by Chris Priestley

ISBN 9780571335114

Those who follow this blog probably know how much I love verse novels. I love everything about them, especailly the language and how it can pack a punch.  Long way down  knocked me sideways. William Holloman’s brother has just been murdered. He wishes he had laughed more at his brother’s dumb jokes because he won’t ever get the chance again. His brother is dead. Tragedy seeps through every page of this book. The language is real and gritty. It is powerful, beautiful and haunting.

After his brother’s death Will knows one thing for sure. He must follow the rules.

  1. Don’t cry
  2. Don’t snitch
  3.  Get revenge

It is raw and dark and I will think about Will for a long, long time. After reading this book I had to just sit awhile and reflect on the lives of the characters. The reality is that there are many William Hollomans in this world and we need to change this. How? I don’t know the answer but something has to change for people like William. They get caught up in the world of poverty, gangs, hardship and anger. This book takes us in to Will’s world, and his thoughts. It is a dark and scary world and as tough as he is trying to be, we see his vulnerability. We hear his thoughts and we find ourselves caring for him in a way only good writing can make us. An amazing insight into the sad and desparate life of a young man looking for revenge. Loved it so much. Need to read again.

Listen to the first few pages being read by the author. 

Comments
  1. Carole Gardiner says:

    I loved this book too! It’s such a powerful and gripping story. I’m finding that it’s a great one to hook in reluctant readers who like something a bit gritty. Thank you for sharing this book trailer. It also led me to this short clip of Jason Reynolds talking about why poetry is perfect for getting reluctant readers hooked into books. https://youtu.be/FsQNaSLziGI

    Liked by 1 person

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