We’re gearing up to start showing off some of the great books you’ll be reading this fall with our Fall 2017 cover reveals later this month and we’re not the only ones: Entertainment Weekly revealed Jason Reynolds’s Fall 17 novel Long Way Down earlier today and we are LOVING this cover!
Jason Reynolds’s rise to YA stardom has been INCREDIBLE to witness over the last few years: he was the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for the critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest; his novel The Boy in the Black Suit earned a the Coretta Scott King Honor while his novel All American Boys (co-written with Brendan Kiely) earned both a Coretta Scott King Honor AND won the Walter Dean Myers Award; As Brave As You, his stunning middle grade debut was a Time Book of the Year and winner of the Kirkus Award; and Ghost, the first book in his middle grade Track series, was also a National Book Award finalist! As Booklist said, “Is anyone else putting out so many stellar books so quickly?”
With Long Way Down (Available October 17, 2017), Jason’s making a return to his roots in poetry. Told in verse, the whole novel takes place over the course of sixty seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. Check out the cover and full description below and let us know what you think!
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.
And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.
Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.