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How It Went Down Hardcover – October 21, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 275 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—When 16-year-old Tariq, a black teen, is shot and killed by a white man, every witness has a slightly different perception of the chain of events leading up to the murder. Family, friends, gang members, neighbors, and a well-meaning but self-serving minster make up the broad cast of characters. The police bring their own personal biases to their investigation of the case. When all points of view are combined, the story of a young man emerges and with it, a narrative that plays out in communities across the country every day. Heartbreaking and unputdownable, this is an important book about perception and race. How It Went Down reads very much like Julius Lester's Day of Tears (Hyperion, 2005) in a modern setting and for an older audience. With a great hook and relatable characters, this will be popular for fans of realistic fiction. The unique storytelling style and thematic relevance will make it a potentially intriguing pick for classroom discussion.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

Review

* “Magoon masterfully captures the cycle of urban violence and the raw emotions of the young people who can't escape its impact.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

*How It Went Down is a snapshot in time, a fascinating study of people caught in the crosshairs of an "Event." . . . A particularly timely tale that can create dialogue and provide understanding about the decisions other people make, and the actions they take.” ―VOYA, starred review

* “This sobering yet satisfying novel leaves readers to ponder the complex questions it raises.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The many voices provide poignant insights into the forces at play in the impoverished neighborhoods, where joining a gang is tough to resist, but the various perspectives also offer compelling and plausible insights into the way perceptions and preconceptions shape narratives and affect our actions.” ―
BCCB

“The layered voices tell a story both simple and complicated, heartbreaking and maddening.” ―
The Chicago Tribune

“Kekla Magoon's books just keep getting better….It's an important, compelling story that everyone should read, especially high school students trying to make sense of our supposed post-racial world.” ―
BookPage, A Teen Top Pick

“In
How It Went Down, Kekla Magoon deftly renders us witnesses to an all-too-common news flash in uncommon, unflinching prose. Gripping to the end.” ―Rita Williams-Garcia Newbery Honor winner, National Book Award finalist, and Coretta Scott King Award winner

“A hard-hitting look at the ripple effects of one act of violence on an entire community.
How It Went Down is engrossing and real--it's the right book at the right time.” ―Coe Booth, LA Times Book Prize winner

“Thoughtful and compassionate, beautifully composed, this book takes us inside what we think we know and shows us more.” ―
Helen Frost, Printz Honor winner

“A powerful novel that will resonate with fans of Myster's
Monster and Woodson's Miracle's Boys.” ―The Horn Book

“Kekla Magoon's
How It Went Down about a black teen who is shot by a white man, is . . . just the right title for young adults grappling with the headlines streaming in every day.” ―School Library Journal

“Heartbreaking and unputdownable.” ―
School Library Journal

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0805098690
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (October 21, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780805098693
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0805098693
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL560L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 and up
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.71 x 1.19 x 8.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 275 ratings

About the author

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Kekla Magoon is the author of over a dozen books for young readers, including THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, THE ROCK AND THE RIVER, HOW IT WENT DOWN, X: A NOVEL (with Ilyasah Shabazz), and the Robyn Hoodlum Adventures series. She has received an NAACP Image Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, two Coretta Scott King Honors, The Walter Award Honor, the In the Margins Award, and been long listed for the National Book Award. She also writes non-fiction on historical topics. Kekla conducts school and library visits nationwide and serves on the Writers’ Council for the National Writing Project. Kekla holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she now serves on faculty. Visit her online at www.keklamagoon.com.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
275 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Jade
4.0 out of 5 stars How It Went Down
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2019
heidi
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2018
Laura Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you think!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2020