Long Way Down

Publisher: Faber

When Shawn, the beloved big brother of 15-year-old Will, is shot dead, Will is ready to follow "the rules" and get revenge. After finding his brother’s gun, he gets in the lift from his home on the seventh floor with Shawn’s gun –and so begins a surreal journey of discovery, guided by the ghosts of other dead people in Will’s life. The entire action of the book takes place on that journey down to the ground floor...

Written in verse, Long Way Down is breathtakingly gripping and spectacular. You almost read it without breathing; the action is so tense, the language so powerful. The author Jason Reynolds has said that he planned not to write boring books, so young people who think they hate books will learn that they don’t. He’s succeeded in his aim by a million degrees: this is one of the most exciting books written for young people or anyone. Give it to every teenager you know! All that, and the illustrations by Chris Priestly add to the haunting quality just perfectly.

Bear in mind that the themes and language are strong, so this book is best for children aged 14 plus, although a savvy 12-year-old will also relish it.

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