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A gripping, groundbreaking novel-in-verse about gun violence, grief and breaking cycles
UKLA Shortlist Book Awards - 2019
Will is only fifteen but he’s experienced more violence and loss than most people might in an entire lifetime. His big brother Shawn was recently shot dead, right in front of him, but as “everybody knows”, “gunshots make everybody/deaf and blind especially/when they make somebody/dead”. While his mom mourns, “sobbing into her palms”, Will knows what he has to do. He must follow the three rules: No crying. No snitching. Revenge.
Armed with Shawn’s gun, Will heads down six floors in an elevator on his revenge mission, thinking he knows exactly who he’s going after. When the “spooky ass” elevator stops at each floor and ghosts from the past step into the “vertical coffin”, doubts set in as Will is presented with more facts and finally comes face to face with some big choices (do some rules need to be broken? Does he want out of the cycle?), and more besides.
The writing is crisp, clever and dazzlingly compact, with a whole family history and personally-charged societal issues conveyed with powerful precision. The line and page breaks are perfectly constructed, words and phrases frequently have multiple meanings, and Chris Priestley’s raw and resonant illustrations are hauntingly powerful.
AND THEN THERE WERE SHOTS.
Everybody ran, ducked, hid, tucked themselves tight. Pressed our lips to the pavement and prayed the boom, followed by the buzz of a bullet, didn't meet us. After Will's brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps. Don't cry. Don't snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with Shawn's gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will's friend who died years ago. And Dani, who was shot years before that. As more people from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he's doing.
This haunting, lyrical, powerful verse novel will blow you away.
|Publication date:||2nd August 2018|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Poetry|
Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestseller and multi-award winning author. His awards include the Edgar Award Young Adult award, the Kirkus Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award (twice), an NAACP Image Award. Jason is also the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honours in addition to being a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree and a National Book Award Honoree. The American Booksellers Association’s 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, his many books include Long Way Down (Faber) and For Every One, also published by Knights Of. From Jason: "Here's what I know: I know there ...More About Jason Reynolds
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