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Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  10,994 ratings  ·  1,988 reviews
From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions a walk 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.
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,994 ratings  ·  1,988 reviews

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This review was going to begin like all the best reviews. With a new Jason Reynolds books falling from the sky. “Falling from the sky” is probably a bit hyperbolic, but that’s what it feels like whenever a new Reynolds hits the market. Now due to the focus required of my job, I couldn’t care less when Reynolds has written a new book for teens. As far as I’m concerned, books are best when written for the 0-14 crowd and anything that speaks to readers of more mature years is apocryphal. Untenable. ...more
Larry H
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
For many children, when the bell rings at the end of the day, it signifies excitement, the start of fun and adventure. When children walk home from school, the freedoms are sometimes greater since they’re not limited by the confines of the bus. However, there are other risk factors as well.

Jason Reynolds’ newest book, Look Both Ways , which was recently named a National Book Award finalist, looks at 10 different journeys home—each characterized by a different block on the way home from school
Julie Zantopoulos
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very consumable stories that are all hard-hitting, impactful, and essential for middle grade readers. However, it does cover some really intense topics like bullying, homophobia, parents with cancer, the death of siblings, etc. It covers these themes in age-appropriate ways and tastefully. It's diverse and beautifully written (uniquely written, too). I connected with some stories more than others but overall, this is a really great read for middle grade readers. ...more
Claude's Bookzone
3.5 Stars

Well there were some wonderful stories in this middle school book. My favourite one was where the kids were making money to buy ice-cream. That one hit me right in the feels. The characters are too young for a high school library in terms of curriculum levels for assessments, but I think some older students would still enjoy this. A lovely book.
Gretchen Rubin
A great children's book with an interesting structure: each chapter is about a different child or set of children walking home from school. ...more
Julia Sapphire
I received an ARC of this book at BEA, in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars

I loved Reynolds previous book "Long Way Done", it was incredible and I was excited to read more work from him. When I saw "Look Both Ways" at BEA I was super excited to pick it up!! So this book is a middle-grade novel that is a "tale told in ten blocks". Such an interest concept! This showcases the lives of young kids, their neighborhoods and their friendships with others.

Honestly, I was let down by this boo
Sep 17, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Go into this one knowing it's a series of short stories linked together because all of the kids go to the same school. There are characters who cross over and reappear, but this isn't about how they intersection, necessarily. It's about how they share the same common ground but live such vastly different lives. It's a peek inside the bus windows, so to speak, as kids deal with a whole host of challenges at home and outside the home.

What I really loved about this one is that these are such middl
J. Greene
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount of work it requires, but I think the most gifted writers are born.

Jason Reynolds is the latter. He’s naturally good at writing tales that leave out all the pomp and stance, but are so well written you don't miss it.

His writing is connecting and pulling, so enthralling, every book feels like an experience you walk away from changed.

Look Both Ways is a masterful work of intertwining short st
Traci at The Stacks
I loved this book. Reynolds is so observant and his stories are so specific and subtle. Which is especially rare in work for young people. The characters are real and contain their own traumas without this being a book about trauma.
Krista Regester
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
10 short stories that all share a common connection: Jason Reynolds. Can I get an amen?!
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
Jason Reynolds is really writing some of the absolute best books for young people. I will always recommend them to every reader.

This one isn't so much a novel but separate vignettes that weave together beautifully. Listened on audio which was a great full cast performance.
Ms. B
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Could a school bus fall from the sky? Find out how in this collection of loosely related short stories. Which will your favorite? The one about the pick pockets, the one with the first kiss (view spoiler), the one about the young comedienne or one of the other 7 chapters (blocks)? After finishing it, I couldn't help but think that it kind of reminded me of Paul Fleischman's Seedfolks. ...more
I’m somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5.

I’ve always wanted to read a Jason Reynolds book because I’ve heard him speak on multiple occasions and he is amazing. So when this book was nominated for the National Book Award, I decided to give it a go without even checking out its premise.

You may think that my rating is low but I assure you that there’s nothing wrong with the book. The writing style itself is wonderful and easy to read, and the different narrators for each of the stories in the audiobook
Y’all he did it again. Jason Reynolds is such a talented writer. This is one that I definitely want to listen to again. I want to go into details about why I loved this book but I think I’m going to save it for me full review.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't deny the magic of books like this one, which weave together separate yet connected stories set in a shared public space. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks would be less effective if not for the crossover elements in its ten short stories; the characters frequently make cameo appearances in the sections that aren't about them, creating a sense of narrative unity even though the stories stand independent from one another. The neighborhood is home to every sort of kid, but they all ...more
My first Jason Reynolds book! I really enjoyed this collection of stories about all the different kinds of kids in a single neighborhood, their different paths and ways of dealing with life. Laugh out loud moments, Kleenex moments, and stories of strong friendships.

Highlights all the ups and downs of being a kid.
Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon
A nice, easy read that lightly touches on deeper topics such as bullying and grief. Some of the stories individually would get five stars from me and I might change my rating if I feel it, this is one of the best middle grade books I've read! Would recommend if you want something light but not mindless and to middle graders. ...more
Shaye Miller
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a set of ten separate short stories, but the characters are connected — living just blocks from one another and going to the same school (Latimer Middle School). I listened to the audiobook which featured some amazing narrators. While it wasn’t my favorite of Reynold’s books, I did enjoy each story and felt like I really got to know the characters in a brief segment of time.

For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my pers
Robin Stevens
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A funny, gross, heartbreaking, heartwarming, clever and twisty short story collection from an absolute master of children's writing. (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Melanie Dulaney
Both my library patrons and I really enjoy Jason Reynolds' "Track" series-Ghost, Lu, Sunny, et al and I like "Look Both Ways." My rating is a 4, but that makes it seem like I enjoyed it as much as the aforementioned series and I didn't. Mr. Reynolds' ability to weave diverse characters together using a neighborhood of very different streets and managing to get a bus falling from the sky throughout was impressive. His cast displayed a variety of social, family, and economic situations that felt v ...more
Chronicled over 10 short stories following ten different kids on ten different blocks, Jason Reynold’s most recent work is a beautiful tapestry of the multifaceted lives of elementary school kids.

I didn’t know going into this that this was a collection of interconnected short stories, so I was a bit caught off guard by the ending of the first chapter, but once I was settled in, I fell in love with Reynold’s poignant and impactful glimpses into these characters’ lives. We follow children who are
Michelle Stimpson
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked all the stories in this book, but I LOVED the second story the most. And I loved how this book put me right back into the days when I walked home from school. I read it in a day. Couldn't put it down. ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library, oct19
I absolutely loved this book!!!
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Several stories blend together to tell rhe stories of kids at Latimer Middle School. I liked the way each story tied together with the next one.
Sydney Bullard
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trimester-2
I enjoyed reading all of the separate short stories and some were quite fascinating.
Is Jason Reynolds capable of writing anything less than stellar? I don't think so. ...more
Rebecca Plaza
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Everyone can observe, describe and share what goes on inside and outside the route home. Each story had nuggets for the reader: humor, empathy and home.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Entertaining children’s book. Some parts made me smile & laugh. I enjoyed this.
Katie Fitzgerald
In this collection of short stories, Jason Reynolds tells ten tales, each one featuring the after-school life of a student at an urban middle school. The stories explore such common middle school themes as best friendship, first love, family struggles, sexual identity (including two boys kissing), and bullying.

Jason Reynolds is an extremely talented writer, and I gave this book four stars based almost exclusively on the quality of the writing within each story. As in his Track series (Ghost, Pat
Kari Yergin
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, childrens
Best middle grade book I’ve read in a long time! Ten sort of intertwining but separate short stories depicting ten kids walking home after school on the same day, with each chapter named after a different street. The stories are a told with much heart and a surprising bits of humor. Jason Reynolds is CLEARLY a talented author who tackles tough issues with a light hand. The audio was so well done, too.
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After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, Jason Reynolds moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it al ...more

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