Young Adult Winner: Long Way Down

Long Way Down is a profoundly moving look at teenage gun violence written in verse by National Book Award finalist, Jason Reynolds. The story takes place over 60 seconds as Will rides an elevator down to avenge his brother’s murder. The piercing, staccato verse reflects the tight space Will is in, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Reynolds’s narration has a powerful impact, literally giving voice to a population of teens who are too seldom heard. About the book, Reynolds has said, “I wanted to tell a story that humanizes people who are dealing with pain and loss without automatically putting them in these strange categories as ‘inhumane’ or as ‘monsters’… These young people who are dealing with this, let's wash them in humanity so that we can better serve them by loving them and by being compassionate and empathetic to their situation." —Sonja, Audible Editor