A short story collection for kids? What a delightfully subversive idea! Look Both Ways follows a bunch of different kids as they walk home from school. Four troublemakers are on a quest for cash to buy ice cream, a girl who loves to skateboard is subject to bullying, while another kid gets beaten up after he defends another kid whose been bullied. We learn how one kid became the class clown and why two other kids have a secret handshake. And as in the best collections, characters and incidents cross over from one story into another. The writing skews a little younger than some of Reynolds’s earlier books, but the themes are no less sophisticated. It’s no wonder that Reynolds was shortlisted for the National Book Award for his latest.— Daniel Goldin
Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“In Look Both Ways, Jason Reynolds shines a light on ordinary walks home and turns them into the extraordinary without the need of magic or faraway lands. Instead, Reynolds shows how worthwhile the people and neighborhoods around us are, especially when you take the time to know what’s happening in people’s lives. The stories in Look Both Ways are heartfelt, engaging, funny, thoughtful, and, though sad at times, full of hope.”
— Alison Perine, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
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.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
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.
About the Author
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. He’s also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include Stamped, 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.