It was so nice of RivetedLit to pass along a free reading of Jason Reynold’s LONG WAY DOWN yesterday. This title has been on my pile, but this was the perfect opportunity to sit down and read. I’m so glad I did! This is a new YA (Young Adult) book about urban youth, gangs, inner struggles, and decisions. All I could say to my family when I finished was, “Wow!”

When Will’s brother, Shawn, is shot in the neighborhood, Will decides (at age 15) he’s old enough to take care of this gang issue himself. He takes Shawn’s gun out of hiding, and heads to the streets. But as Will waits for the apartment building elevator to travel 8 floors down to the lobby, he is reminded again and again that it is a “long way down” and that he might just be the next victim. Will he take the necessary steps to follow “The Rules?”
A MUST-READ: thought-provoking, harrowing, and deep. Jason Reynolds does it again — uses a few carefully-selected words to tell an engaging story. I finished in one sitting, and I’ll bet you will, too. I also bet this one will stay with me (and you) for a long, long time.