Back in November of 2017 I read the novel-in-verse Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Here is what I said about the novel at that time:
If you haven't heard of this book, it is about a boy who is considering killing the person he thinks killed his brother. While he is on the elevator heading out to do the deed he is visited by six "ghosts" of people killed by guns. It is very distressing to think that this book is reporting a truth, that a lot of killings in the inner city are considered honor killings...you killed my brother, so I will kill you. When will it stop? The whole book is written in verse. On occasion I had a hard time telling who was speaking and what was being discussed, but I got the gist of the message. Very powerful.The book was very impactful and I carried its message around inside me for these past five years, but now I have discovered the answer to my confusion over who is speaking: Long Way Down: A Graphic Novel. The illustrations by Danica Novgorodoff leave no question which "gun-killed ghost" is speaking. And just like the ending of the original book, this one ends with the same question: what will William do? Will he carry on the tragedy of revenge killing or will he stop following those inane rules others lived and died by in the neighborhood -- if someone is killed, a family member needs to revenge that killing by killing the person who did it. Unfortunately, as the ghosts point out, often that family member doesn't actually know who did the killing so they end up killing the wrong person. It goes on and on. It needs to stop. Can Will break the pattern of killing?
|This is Will's story.|
|Rule No. 1-No crying; No. 2- No snitching; No. 3-Revenge|
I think the illustrations really enhance the book and I highly recommend this graphic novel.