Title: Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
Author: Jason Reynolds
Artist: Danica Novgorodoff
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Pub Date: 10/13/20
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Edition: Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC)
Jason Reynolds’s Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff.
Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot.
Will feels a sadness so great, he can’t explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES:
No. 1: Crying.
No matter what.
No. 2: Snitching
No matter what.
No. 3: Revenge
No matter what.
But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there’s always someone else who knows to follow the rules…
This is my first time reading a Reynolds book, and now I entirely understand why his writing is so loved. This book does a great job of examining generational trauma, masculinity, gun violence, and how our surroundings influence our behavior. I haven’t read the original book of Long Way Down, but I really enjoyed Novgorodoff’s art style and think it makes the story accessible for a lot of people. I also don’t mind ambiguous endings, so I liked grappling with what I thought the ending meant. This book reminded me of a verse in Lil Baby’s song “The Bigger Picture”: “I did what I did ’cause I didn’t have no choice or no hope, I was forced to just jump in and go.” A lot of the decisions made in this book occurred because of people trying to prescribe to a rigid set of rules and thinking that they had no other options. I think this can apply to a lot more than just gun and gang violence as society’s rules tend to be unattainable and inequitable, especially for Black people. Overall, I think this book leads to a great conversation, and I’m glad that it could be transformed into a graphic novel.
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
Danica Novgorodoff is an artist, writer, graphic designer, and horse wrangler from Louisville, Kentucky, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Her books include A Late Freeze; Slow Storm; Refresh, Refresh (included in Best American Comics 2011); and The Undertaking of Lily Chen. Her art and writing have been published in Best American Comics, Artforum, Esquire, VQR, Slate, Orion, Seneca Review, Ecotone Journal, and many others. She was awarded a 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Literature, and was named Sarabande Books’ 2016 writer in residence. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Willapa Bay AiR. Visit her online at DanicaNovgorodoff.com.
Where to Buy
Thank you for reading my review of Long Way Down. If you want to see all the other amazing posts on this book tour, check out the schedule on Hear Our Voices.
*Thank you to the publisher and HOV for a free copy of the book. All opinions are my own*