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Download How It Went Down Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample How It Went Down Audiobook, by Kekla Magoon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kekla Magoon Narrator: Cherise Boothe, A Full Cast Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9781490631684
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When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.

Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: this is how it went down.

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Quotes & Awards

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

    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.”


  • “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)

  • “This sobering yet satisfying novel leaves readers to ponder the complex questions it raises.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “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)

  • “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

  • “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.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • “A powerful novel that will resonate with fans of Myster’s Monster and Woodson’s Miracle’s Boys.”

    Horn Book

  • “Cherise Booth anchors this production with her performance as world-weary Jennica, a teen we meet when she tries to save her schoolmate, Tariq Johnson…As Tariq’s family, other teens, and neighborhood stalwarts can’t agree on the facts or on what they mean, the full-cast approach highlights the way people’s expectations and assumptions influence what they see and believe. Timely, but also timeless in its exploration of the mysteries at the core of being human.”


  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 for Teens
  • Named an Honor Book for the 2015 Coretta Scott King Award
  • Winner of the 2015 In the Margins Book Award for Fiction
  • A BookPage Top Pick for Teens
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About the Author
Author Kekla Magoon

Kekla Magoon has worked with youth-serving nonprofit organizations in New York City and Chicago. She holds an MFA in writing for children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first novel, The Rock and the River, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for new talent.

About the Narrator

Cherise Boothe, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, has worked extensively in theater, film, television, and narration. She has appeared in numerous regional plays, as well as in television shows such as The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, and Gossip Girl. She holds an MFA in acting from New York University. She was a finalist in 2015 for the prestigious Audie Award for best multivoiced narration.