AND THEN THERE WERE SHOTS Everybody ran, ducked, hid, tucked themselves tight Pressed our lips to the pavement and prayed the boom, followed by the buzz of a bullet, didn t meet us After Will s brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps Don t cry Don t snitch Get revenge So he gets in the lift with Shawn s gun, determined to follow The Rules Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will s friend who died years ago And Dani, who was shot years before that Aspeople from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he s doing This haunting, lyrical, powerful verse novel will blow you away. Jason Reynolds is truly a gift to the world I love this book and believe everyone, young and old, should read this profoundly human story Jason brilliantly sets the stage in an elevator to metaphorically represent the feelings of being entrapped by the notions we create in our head the perceived rules, assumptions, expectations of society, and the swiftness for which we believe we must respond to those thoughts And, consequently, how our lives and the lives of others can change in an instant In this scenario, it s the 60 seconds it takes Will, the protagonist, to travel from the seventh to the ground floor.Written beautifully and artistically in verse, Long Way Down conveys a powerful message of introspection and self reflection Of mindfulness and emotional intelligence particularly with respect to self awareness and self regulation.Long Way Down raises the awareness of Victor Frankl s teachings from his incredibly important and timeless book, Man s Search for Meaning Between stimulus and response there is a space In that space is our power to choose our response In our response lies our growth and our freedom. How do you begin to describe Jason Reynolds Long Way Down Although some have understandably called this tale a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and to some extent it is, but it is much than that Literature teachers will certainly delight in the many lessons that are taught throughout this creative tale, readers are simply drawn in by the delight it is to read Although there are a few profanities scattered in the telling, they do not draw attention away from the story and in fact, Mr Reynolds uses them to add appropriate realism to his characters Written for teens, this novel is enjoyable for both adults and teens, as evident by the fact our entire family read it and have had many animated conversations over dinner on the meaning of the ending Highly recommend Long Way Down and look forward to reading of Jason Reynolds in the very near future. I ve read every Jason Reynolds book published except for the Spiderman one which I ll get to next This is the most powerful one yet The poetry is tight, not a word wasted I found myself reading lines outline over and over to hear them roll off the tongue The plot is clever and refreshingly different The message, the voices, the themes are powerful The whole world should read this tale and learn how violence begets violence and swallows us up not whole but very broken I wanted to get in the elevator with Will, hold him like his mother would have, cry with him, and lead him away from the tragic tradition that he felt compelled to continue Thank you, Jason Reynolds, for your wisdom and the voices you create The world needs this book And PLEASE keep writing