Long Way Down Book Review

Long Way Down Book Review for High School English Teachers

If you’re looking for a new book to add to your classroom reading list, consider Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. This novel tells the story of a teenager who must grapple with the aftermath of his brother’s shooting. While it is an important story about gun violence, it is also an uplifting tale of family, friendship, and finding your way in the world. 

Overview of “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds is a gripping novel that centers around fifteen-year-old Will and his struggle with tragedy after tragedy.

When the novel opens, Will’s brother was recently killed in a senseless shooting and the book follows Will through his journey of revenge and understanding.

As he descends on an elevator with a gun in hand, he meets ghosts along the way who help him reconcile his life’s choices and ultimately rewrite his own story.

The characters are raw, realistic, and powerful, offering readers an emotional experience unlike any other.

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds is a book that’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished it. surface-level answers, fostering meaningful conversation and reflecting on their own ideas. In this way, Socratic Seminars are invaluable tools for the high school classroom, helping students grow not only in their understanding of the text but also in their ability to engage thoughtfully in discourse.

The Plot of Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

“Long Way Down” tells an intense, heartbreaking story focusing on the central character, Will. After his brother is shot and killed under mysterious circumstances, he sets out to take revenge on the perpetrator – only to be taken on a journey of unexpected self-discovery.

He faces difficult choices and powerful emotions as he embarks on his quest for justice, learning about himself through the detours and dead ends along the way.

The supporting characters lend further nuance to the plot, including Will’s mother Grace with her fierce protectiveness of her son, and his best friend Shawn who ultimately has Will’s back when it matters most.

With drama, emotion and complexity at its core, “Long Way Down” is a thought-provoking story that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

How this book can be used in a classroom setting

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds is an incredibly powerful and thought-provoking novel that teaches essential lessons about what happens when we are faced with difficult decisions.

Students can relate to the main character who finds himself in a horrifying situation, struggling to overcome his grief.

Not only does the book’s raw emotion capture its readers, but it also has strong messages about self-reflection and understanding consequences.

Its gripping storyline and vivid imagery make it a great addition to any classroom, facilitating conversations among students and motivating them to think more deeply on complex topics.

Additionally, the book can spark meaningful debates and perspectives on freedom of expression, racism, gun violence, class divisions, family trauma, and more. “Long Way Down” prompts readers to grapple with these challenging issues in a captivating way that creates space for open dialogue and exploration.

Activties and Ideas for Teaching Long Way Down

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds is a powerful and thought-provoking read for teens. It is the perfect choice for young adult book clubs, offering lots of potential for meaningful conversations and engaging activities.

Reading circle discussions could focus on themes such as grief, violence, justice and belonging.

To really delve deep into the novel’s content, activities like poetry writing and creative art projects with the story’s motifs would be a great way to explore the plot and characters in more depth.

By focusing on an activity or two inspired by this fantastic work, readers are sure to get even more out of their experience with this extraordinary book.

This book is an important addition to your classroom library

Jason Reynolds’ “Long Way Down” is an incredibly thought-provoking, relevant and lyrical young adult novel that should be a staple on any teacher’s bookshelf.

Reynolds masterfully examines issues of family ties, gang violence, gun control and grief in a way that will invite teenagers to engage in deep conversations about morality and social issues.

The eloquently expressed themes of trauma, prejudice and power are both heartbreaking and inspiring for young adults.

As teachers work to instill critical thinking skills into their students, this book offers an accessible yet profound lens with which to explore challenging topics in an engaging way.

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The book has recieved many literary awards

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds has been widely acclaimed since its release and has gone on to receive a plethora of awards and accolades.

At the Kirkus Prize, it was awarded in Young Readers Literature.

It also was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and made the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2019 “Long Way Down” received the Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book for an African-American author and has earned numerous starred reviews from professional journals, such as School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

Additionally, it won Best Fiction for Young Adults from the YALSA group – which is part of the American Library Association – in 2018.

It’s no wonder books like these stay popular year after year; they enlighten readers with every turn of a page and provide children with thought-provoking stories that inspire joy and growth at the same time!

Jason Reynold's is the master of engaging reluctant readers

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds is an incredibly engaging book for all readers, especially those who may be more reluctant.

Not only does it feature a compelling story line and characters, but Reynolds also writes with a rhythmic flow that is hard to put down once you get started.

This mixed with the non-linear structure of the book makes it great for any reader that may have trouble sticking to long pieces of literature.

The shifts in point of view also serve to keep the narrative fresh, making it a great read no matter how many times you pick it up.

If you’re looking for something to engage even the most hesitant reader, then “Long Way Down” is definitely worth checking out!

In conclusion, for teachers looking for an excellent book to engage their students, look no further than Jason Reynolds’s “Long Way Down”.

This powerful story about grief, hope and redemption can provide readers with food for thought and spark meaningful conversations in the classroom.

Not only does the novel tackle important issues such as violence and mortality, but by making use of various activities and discussion topics, the book is sure to engage reluctant readers.

With its multiple awards and rave reviews, “Long Way Down” is definitely a worthy addition to any teacher’s library.

No matter if teachers are interested in teaching literature or studying sociological issues in depth; this masterpiece will add value to any English class. And every reader will be able to take away something different out of this powerful story.

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Picture of Carley 📚 Teacher Author @ Visual Thinking Classroom

Carley 📚 Teacher Author @ Visual Thinking Classroom

B.A., B.Ed., Graduate Certificate in Teacher Librarianship // carley@visualthinkingclassroom.com