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Look both ways : a tale told in ten blocks
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2019
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* How do you invest a reader in a short-story collection? Begin with the promise of "a school bus falling from the sky." This tease kickstarts the book, exciting the imagination before embarking—like a bus—on a neighborhood tour. Ten stories are told in parallel, each following different middle-graders home from school. On Marston Street, TJ lays out his hilarious hypothesis that "we all boogers." On Placer Street, we meet the Low Cuts, a four-kid crew that hustles for spare change to help their cancer-stricken parents. There's Bryson, jumped on Burman Street for showing that it's OK for boys to kiss boys. Cynthia, who learned joke telling from her grandpa on Southview Avenue before his health began to decline. Here Reynolds exhibits his mastery of character. Each protagonist is distinct—engaging, sympathetic, complex—each story uniquely memorable. The prose flows effortlessly, rhythmic and real, and by broadening the scope to 10 middle-grade stories, he captures that age. These are quite simply—and profoundly—stories about kids and the comedy and tragedy of childhood. As the chapters pass, readers will sink into the more-and-more familiar neighborhood, getting so invested in these linked human experiences that, when the bus finally falls, it's only to remind us that we're all connected. This is storytelling at its finest, a true masterpiece from one of kidlit's brightest ambassadors.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Reynolds, basically kidlit royalty at this point, will summon a crowd with this short-story collection. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* How do you invest a reader in a short-story collection? Begin with the promise of "a school bus falling from the sky." This tease kickstarts the book, exciting the imagination before embarking—like a bus—on a neighborhood tour. Ten stories are told in parallel, each following different middle-graders home from school. On Marston Street, TJ lays out his hilarious hypothesis that "we all boogers." On Placer Street, we meet the Low Cuts, a four-kid crew that hustles for spare change to help their cancer-stricken parents. There's Bryson, jumped on Burman Street for showing that it's OK for boys to kiss boys. Cynthia, who learned joke telling from her grandpa on Southview Avenue before his health began to decline. Here Reynolds exhibits his mastery of character. Each protagonist is distinct—engaging, sympathetic, complex—each story uniquely memorable. The prose flows effortlessly, rhythmic and real, and by broadening the scope to 10 middle-grade stories, he captures that age. These are quite simply—and profoundly—stories about kids and the comedy and tragedy of childhood. As the chapters pass, readers will sink into the more-and-more familiar neighborhood, getting so invested in these linked human experiences that, when the bus finally falls, it's only to remind us that we're all connected. This is storytelling at its finest, a true masterpiece from one of kidlit's brightest ambassadors.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Reynolds, basically kidlit royalty at this point, will summon a crowd with this short-story collection. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Reynolds (the Track series) packs the 10 blocks surrounding multiple schools with 10 relatable slice-of-life stories that start after school ends, each beginning with a black-and-white drawing by Nabaum. An overlapping cast of black characters populates the tales as they experience the tribulations of familial love ("Ookabooka Land"), fears ("Satchmo's Master Plan"), first crushes ("How a Boy Becomes a Grease Fire"), near-death experiences ("The Broom Dog"), and more. Among the most memorable of these stories are "The Low Cuts Strike Again," about a group of free-lunch students who are all children of cancer survivors (and rock low-cut haircuts in solidarity); "Skitter Hitter," about Pia Foster, skateboarder extraordinaire, her deceased expert skateboarder sister Santi, and the boys who bully them about their skill; and "Call of Duty," which portrays one hopeful, compassionate outcome of standing up against homophobic bullying. In Reynolds's signature style, each story rings with emotional authenticity and empathy, and not a small amount of rib-tickling humor offsets the sometimes bittersweet realities of the characters' lives. Ages 10–14. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Oct.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Reynolds (the Track series) packs the 10 blocks surrounding multiple schools with 10 relatable slice-of-life stories that start after school ends, each beginning with a black-and-white drawing by Nabaum. An overlapping cast of black characters populates the tales as they experience the tribulations of familial love ("Ookabooka Land"), fears ("Satchmo's Master Plan"), first crushes ("How a Boy Becomes a Grease Fire"), near-death experiences ("The Broom Dog"), and more. Among the most memorable of these stories are "The Low Cuts Strike Again," about a group of free-lunch students who are all children of cancer survivors (and rock low-cut haircuts in solidarity); "Skitter Hitter," about Pia Foster, skateboarder extraordinaire, her deceased expert skateboarder sister Santi, and the boys who bully them about their skill; and "Call of Duty," which portrays one hopeful, compassionate outcome of standing up against homophobic bullying. In Reynolds's signature style, each story rings with emotional authenticity and empathy, and not a small amount of rib-tickling humor offsets the sometimes bittersweet realities of the characters' lives. Ages 10–14. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Oct.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–8—Ten short stories paint a picture of what happens one particular afternoon after the dismissal bell at Latimer Middle School. Each tale focuses on one student or group of friends. The magic of this book is Reynolds's ability to weave the same teachers and various students in and out of the ten stories. Students after school swirl and eddy. Ms. Post the crossing guard helps everyone cross the street while her son looks on from his spot by the stop sign; Ms. Wockley, the principal, stands in the hall yelling at students; and Ms. CeeCee sells penny candy from her house. Some backstory in each piece puts the characters' actions into perspective, with each entry ending with a bit of a surprise. The very last one ends where the first one begins, with a mythical flying school bus. Poetic language is used throughout to help distinguish one character from the next. VERDICT The perfect book to hand to reluctant middle grade readers, who will relate to the hectic and uncertain lives of these characters.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

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. - (Simon and Schuster)

Annotations

A whimsical exploration of the role detours play in life follows a group of students who become so engaged in everyday activities while taking 10 different routes home from school that they fail to notice a school bus that has dropped from the sky. By the award-winning author of Ghost. 200,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)

"A collection of ten short stories that all take place in the same day about kids walking home from school"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A National Book Award Finalist!
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019
A New York Times Best Children&;s Book of 2019

A Time Best Children&;s Book of 2019
A Today Show Best Kids&; Book of 2019
A Washington Post Best Children&;s Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
&;As innovative as it is emotionally arresting.&; &;Entertainment Weekly

From National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions kids&; walks home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy&;

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Skateboarding.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life. - (Simon and Schuster)

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