Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young Peopleís Literature
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
On Sale: October 24, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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Young Adult Suspense
An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book
Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason
Reynoldsís fiercely stunning novel that takes place in
sixty potent secondsóthe time it takes a kid to decide
whether or not heís going to murder the guy who killed
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
Or, you can call it a gun. Thatís what fifteen-year-old
Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See,
his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the
rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. Thatís where
Willís now heading, with that gun shoved in the back
waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brotherís
gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He
knows who heís after. Or does he? As the elevator stops
on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out,
is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck
tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And
thatís when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the
only one who could have fired Shawnís gun was Shawn. Huh.
Will didnít know that Shawn had ever actually USED his
gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buckís in the
elevator? Just as Willís trying to think this through,
the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on,
waves away the smoke from Dead Buckís cigarette. Will
doesnít know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were
eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground,
and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway,
and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor
elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved
in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.
And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator
stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected
to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger
story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might
never know an ENDÖif WILL gets off that elevator.
Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way
Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at
teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason
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