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In 10 blocks, very different kids find themselves connected in strange and interesting ways. Dogs are avoided, comedy is tested, lists are made, and new love blossoms. Jason Reynolds’s way with words is enviable. Each kid is real and raw, dealing with issues most adults assume children can’t possibly have a grasp of. I took my time and savored every moment with this slim novel. Trust me, you will, too.
Jason Reynolds is one talented writer. In this book, he weaves together ten stories, all centering on one block. He manages to subvert readers’ expectations and tackle serious themes with humor, all while allowing the characters humanity to shine through and connecting the stories in surprising ways. It’s no wonder it’s a finalist for the National Book Award!
Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“In Look Both Ways, Jason Reynolds shines a light on ordinary walks home and turns them into the extraordinary without the need of magic or faraway lands. Instead, Reynolds shows how worthwhile the people and neighborhoods around us are, especially when you take the time to know what’s happening in people’s lives. The stories in Look Both Ways are heartfelt, engaging, funny, thoughtful, and, though sad at times, full of hope.”
— Alison Perine, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
A National Book Award Finalist! Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019 A Time Best Children’s Book of 2019 A Today Show Best Kids’ Book of 2019 A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 “As innovative as it is emotionally arresting.” —Entertainment Weekly
From National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions kids’ walks home can take.
This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—
Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Lotioning up. Finding comfort. But mostly, too busy walking home.
Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
About the Author
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
“One of the most exciting, constantly surprising voices in children’s literature…is back with another book that’s as innovative as it is emotionally arresting.” — EW.com
"Reynolds' gift for capturing the voices and humanity of urban teens is on full display....Brims with humor, pathos, and the heroic struggle to grow up." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This is storytelling at its finest, a true masterpiece." — Booklist, starred review
*"Each story rings with emotional authenticity and empathy." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
*Reynolds proves once again that he has a knack for marrying the emotionally gripping to the unabashedly silly in ways that read as both new and familiar....Charming." — BCCB, starred review
*"The perfect book to hand to reluctant middle grade readers, who will relate to the hectic and uncertain lives of these characters." — School Library Journal, starred review