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Author: Reynolds, Jason
As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 192021
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 72222
Newbery Honor, 2018
Coretta Scott King Author Honor, 2018
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (+) (07/01/17)
Booklist (+) (07/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/10/17)
The Hornbook (+) (00/07/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 *Starred Review* Spanning a mere one minute and seven seconds, Reynolds’ new free-verse novel is an intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger. First, 15-year-old Will Holloman sets the scene by relating his brother Shawn’s murder two days prior—gunned down while buying soap for their mother. Next, he lays out The Rules: don’t cry, don’t snitch, always get revenge. Now that the reader is up to speed, Will tucks Shawn’s gun into his waistband and steps into an elevator, steeled to execute rule number three and shoot his brother’s killer. Yet, the simple seven-floor descent becomes a revelatory trip. At each floor, the doors open to admit someone killed by the same cycle of violence that Will’s about to enter. He’s properly freaked out, but as the seconds tick by and floors count down, each new occupant drops some knowledge and pushes Will to examine his plans for that gun. Reynolds’ concise verses echo like shots against the white space of the page, their impact resounding. He peels back the individual stories that led to this moment in the elevator and exposes a culture inured to violence because poverty, gang life, or injustice has left them with no other option. In this all-too-real portrait of survival, Reynolds goes toe-to-toe with where, or even if, love and choice are allowed to exist. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A noisy buzz always surrounds this critically acclaimed author’s work, and the planned tour and promo campaign will boost this book’s to a siren call. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 8 Up—Fifteen-year-old Will's big brother has been shot and killed. According to the rules that Will has been taught, it is now his job to kill the person responsible. He easily finds his brother's gun and gets on the elevator to head down from his eighth-floor apartment. But it's a long way down to the ground floor. At each floor, a different person gets on to tell a story. Each of these people is already dead. As they relate their tales, readers learn about the cycle of violence in which Will is caught up. The protagonist faces a difficult choice, one that is a reality for many young people. Teens are left with an unresolved ending that goes beyond the simple question of whether Will will seek revenge. Told in verse, this title is fabulistic in its simplicity and begs to be discussed. Its hook makes for an excellent booktalk. It will pair well with Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and Reynolds's previous works. The unique narrative structure also makes it an excellent read-alike for Walter Dean Myers's Monster. VERDICT This powerful work is an important addition to any collection.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.