Fifteen-year-old Will has to find the person who killed his older brother and kill him. That is the rule. He grabs his brother’s gun and takes the elevator down from his mom’s eighth-floor apartment. As he descends, the car stops on each floor and a person from his past steps in and speaks. These people—all dead—have been killed by the cycle of gun violence and poverty that ensnares Will. The author’s stark, fluid words are to be read in a single gulp, and the last line is killer, or hopefully not. Ages 12 and up.
Fifteen-year-old Will gets on the elevator with a gun in his waistband. On his 60-second journey to the lobby, Will has “the Rules” in mind: No crying, no snitching, and get revenge. Who he meets on the elevator will help determine what Will does when he hits the lobby. This graphic novelization of the award-winning novel in verse chronicling one Black boy’s dilemma will grab you and not let go. A great choice for middle-grade to adult readers.
Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List
“A novel in verse that spans the length of time it takes for an elevator to descend, Long Way Down finds Will mourning the death of his brother and grappling with the burden of avenging his murder. Will’s grief permeates every page, from his recollections of everyday childhood memories to his encounters with other figures from his past whose lives were destroyed by gun violence. Jason Reynolds says more with a stanza than most authors can say with a chapter.”
— Lelia Nebeker, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA
Jason Reynolds’s Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff.
Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot. Dead. Will feels a sadness so great, he can’t explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES:
No. 1: Crying. Don’t. No matter what.
No. 2: Snitching Don’t. No matter what.
No. 3: Revenge Do. No matter what.
But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there’s always someone else who knows to follow the rules…
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. He’s also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include Stamped, 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.
Danica Novgorodoff is an artist, writer, graphic designer, and horse wrangler who lives in Kentucky. Her books include A Late Freeze; Slow Storm; Refresh, Refresh (included in TheBest American Comics 2011); and The Undertaking of Lily Chen. Her art and writing have been published in Artforum, Esquire, Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, Orion, Seneca Review, Ecotone Literary Magazine, and many others. She was awarded a 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in literature and was named Sarabande Books’ 2016 writer-in-residence. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Willapa Bay AiR. Visit her online at DanicaNovgorodoff.com.
*"A moving rendition that stands on its own." — Kirkus, starred review
*"Novgorodoff’s watercolors, which bleed at the edges like pavement stains, match the text in mood and fluency, and by putting faces to characters, they tacitly untangle the web of revenge killings and mistaken identities foundational to the plot." — BCCB, starred review
*"Reynolds’s words paint pictures of their own in this tragic yet poignant illustrated tale that offers no answers to the seemingly impossible choices some communities face." — School Library Journal, starred review
*"Far more than just an illustration of the events of the novel, Novgorodoff’s iteration powerfully cultivates the tone and mood of its source material, demonstrating just how effective and artful comics can be." — Booklist, starred review