Posted 20 hours ago

Ghost (RUN SERIES): 1

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This middle grade book, on the long list for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, is a must read for kids ages ten and beyond. It follows an impoverished kid name Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw who accidentally joins a recreational track team after beating the team's fastest sprinter in an impromptu race.

I've heard the author also does some superhero novelizations for young readers, so those are probably great too, but I love the "found family" element of this one best. Coach snatched the towel from his shoulder, folded into a perfect square, and set it in the space between us.

The writing in this novel made me feel like I was 10 again, and I was just a little kid who liked to read books about sports. it's easy to praise Reynolds's vivid depiction of life in Ghost's urban neighborhood as one that's challenging and full of warmth, relationships and hope. See, the gym across the street has this big window—like the whole wall is a window—and they have those machines that make you feel like you walking up steps and so everybody just be facing the bus stop, looking all crazy like they’re about to pass out. Ghost eventually does, with his mother's approval, becoming friends with three other newbies to the team. Like Cleary, Jason Reynolds clearly remembers what it was to be a kid — the private humiliations, the silliness, the outsized misconceptions, the way the tiniest bit of support can change a day.

Then, one day, Ghost comes across a practice in the park and decides to race one of the sprinters, a decision that leads him to join Coach Brody’s elite track team: the Defenders. When I go out to the schools to booktalk, twelve books in tow, I occasionally get the question of which of the year's books is my personal favorite. Even Ghost, ESPECIALLY Ghost, who makes you want to yell and him and cheer for him, sometimes at the same time. Ghost and his mother are not well off; his father attempted to shoot them one drunken night, and Ghost retains a certain amount of fear and desire to run from that traumatic night. In a weird way, increasing the number of racially diverse books on a given publisher’s release calendar isn’t hard if the publisher is dedicated to the notion.Then there’s a cliffhanger where it was a big race and the starting gun fired great and that was the ending! This is the first book in the Track series: What conflicts do you think Ghost is going to face in the next book? As I've stated in my previous thoughts, Ghost (Castle) is such a complex character and it's through his complexity that readers are truly able to appreciate the story as a whole. When Coach asks Ghost’s mother to let him join the team, Ghost reflects, “I felt like I had seen this in every single sports movie I had ever watched.

Despite the fact that the protagonist, Castle, is a dirt-poor black kid and I grew up in a middle-class white family, I could identify so strongly him--with his overpowering black and red emotions--that I was transported back my own sometimes challenging middle school years. But he's not just running toward the finish line, he's running away from his past and the anger he's got buried inside. Mike Lupica and Tim Green may rule the field but that doesn’t mean other people don’t make a lot out of athletics. Either Ghost coupled with The Crossover or a novel I have done in previous years, Peak by Roland Smith (which I am not totally enamored with, either). My sixth graders are reluctant readers who like fast paced, realistic fiction with characters they can root for.The book received starred reviews from Booklist, [3] Publishers Weekly, [4] and Kirkus, [1] as well as positive reviews from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and Horn Book Magazine. You have this kid who does a number of "bad" things, but it's hard to get mad at him because his reasons, for the most part, are good. I have to say that as someone who has very little interest in sports, I was surprised at how much I liked this story about a 13-year-old urban black kid Castle Crenshaw, aka “Ghost,” joining a track team. It is the first book of Reynold's Track series, followed by Patina (2017), Sunny (2018), and Lu (2018). My mom and I kept running, down the staircase into the street, breaking into the darkness with death chasing behind us.

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