Will knows the rules of his neighborhood. No matter what happens you don’t cry and you don’t snitch. But on the morning after his brother Shawn is killed, it’s rule number three – revenge – that has Will on the elevator before his mom is even out of bed. The gun tucked in his waistband is chafing his back, heavier than he’d imagined, and he’s only pretty sure he knows who shot Shawn, but Will is ready to do what he knows has to be done. It’s only seven floors down to the street. It should be a short, sixty-second ride. Will shouldn’t even have time to think about what he’s about to do. But as person after person joins his ride down to the lobby, Will is forced to face exactly what happens when someone lives by his neighborhood’s rules. Written in verse, Long Way Down is a quick read that is open and unapologetic in its considerations of grief, the cycle of street violence, and the high cost of retaliation.
by Kaitlin B.