Look Both Ways
Publisher: Knights Of
As the school bell rings. signalling the end of the day, the kids in Latimer Middle School stream out of their classrooms and begin their journeys home. There’s Pia on her skateboard, Simeon giving Kenzi a piggyback, the Low Cuts plotting their latest hustle, best friends Jasmine and TJ talking about random things. Everyone heads off in a different direction, leaving the busy school bubble and splitting off toward their separate lives.
Here are ten stories about ten walks home – ten different kids, their friendships, their worries, their moments of joy, their routines. What makes today the same as any other walk home, and what makes it different? Can Satchmo escape Mr Jerry’s new dog? Will Gregory find the courage to ask Sandra for her number? Can Cynthia come up with the perfect joke for her grandfather?
Themes of friendship and compassion weave these stories together. It’s a book about in-between moments and the spaces where young people begin the walk from childhood to adulthood. Each story stands alone, but with little things here and there that overlap: a teacher shouting in the corridor; a character from one story passed in the playground in another story, while Jason Reynolds' writing is gripping, direct and incredibly readable.