Published by: Atheneum Books (Simon & Schuster)
Released on: August 30th, 2016
Series: Track #1
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher + other retailers
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Rating: 5 Owlets
Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
Running. That's all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race -- and wins -- the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?
This is one book worth picking up! Jason Reynolds is an extremely gifted story teller. He gets the art of story telling. He literally tells a story that could have easily been a real like experience. The thing I loved about this book are the important discussions that can be had.
I absolutely love the way he tells GHOST'S story. It's realistic. It's not sugar coated. It's a story that makes you understand the character, his situation, and sympathize with the choices he makes. You can't help but want the best for Ghost. You get all the the aspects of Ghost in this story. The good, the bad, the struggles etc. I loved that as a reader, Ghosts's story made me reflect on the kind of character I'd be in this story. One thing is for sure, I would hope I'd be like Coach.
I love Coach's character. He is the perfect mentor for Ghost. He's not perfect, but his advice, and the example he is to Ghost, is. What he says, and teaches Ghost is powerful. My favorite quote from this book is from him to Ghost. He says, "Show you that you can't run away from who you are, but what you can do is run toward who you want to be."
This book is the kind of book I wish I had along side my tiny stack of books that really spoke to me as a middle grade reader. Reading this as an adult reminded me of what I loved about reading as a middle grade student. It's no surprise this book is a National Book Award Finalist. It's so well deserved! This book is one that should be available in every school library!