Title: Ghost (Track #1)
Author: Jason Reynolds
Genre: Young Adult, Middle Grade
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Release Date: August 30, 2016
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?
I loved this story! It’s short and easy to read, but very entertaining.
Ghost is an ordinary boy. He reminded me of so many boys that I knew growing up. He loves reading about world records. He throws out facts about them throughout the story. Many kids I know have a period where they love that story. I think young boys would relate to his story.
Ghost’s story was sad at times. He became a fast runner because he had to run away from his dad when he was shooting at Ghost and his mom. And he was teased for things beyond his control, like his shoes. But that just made him more realistic.
I laughed many times while I was reading this book. Ghost has a funny way of seeing the world sometimes. He says Mr. Charles, who works at a store, looks like “James Brown if James Brown was white.” He later described Lu, a boy on the track team, in a similar way: “this kid looked like a white boy, if a white boy was black.” (10). Ghost had never seen an Albino person before, so that’s how he described him, but I understood what he meant. That was a clever way of showing Ghost’s youth through his narrative.
I really enjoyed this story. It would be especially good for young boys who are reluctant readers!