Earlier this year, the Library of Congress named Jason Reynolds the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and I was determined to see what all the fuss was about. And I’m glad I did.
When 15-year-old Will decides to seek revenge after his older brother Shawn was killed, he finds his brother’s hidden gun and enters the elevator. He will follow “The Rules” he was taught, which are no snitching, no crying, and get revenge on whoever killed your loved one.
But at each floor stop in the elevator, Will is greeted by people from his past, whom he thought were dead. Each person shares their story about how they followed The Rules, and were no longer living. Their goal is to keep Will from repeating the same mistakes and continuing the cycle of violence in his community. This book is a must-read.