October 24 2021
Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds
Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Genre/ issues: Graphic novel. YA fiction. Black lives matter. Generational trauma.
“Another thing about the Rules
They weren’t meant to be broken.
They were meant for the broken
I thought I’d be prepared for the graphic novel version of Long Way Down by @jasonreynolds83. I read the verse novel last year and was in awe of the strength and sensitivity of the storytelling. Add the graphic illustrations by @novgorodoff, and it’s a whole added level of punch.
Will is 15. His older brother has just been shot, and the Rules say that it’s Will’s duty to get revenge. To find the man who killed Shawn and shoot him. He takes the gun from his brother’s hiding place, and gets in the elevator, pressing the button for the lobby with a plan laid out.
But as the lift descends, the doors open on each floor of the building, admitting people from Will’s past who definitely shouldn’t be there, and who all provide another perspective on the Rules.
Reynolds’ poetry is stunning, sparse and powerful, and Novgorodoff’s watercolour artwork drives this tragedy of generational trauma and gang violence home even deeper. If you’ve not read this book, I’d highly recommend it. So incredibly good, words don’t seem to do it justice.