by Jason Reynolds
Realistic Fiction/©2016/180 pages/First in a series (Track)/Recommended for ages 10+
Publisher’s Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):
Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.
What a great book! I loved everything about it – including the clever chapter titles (all of which start with “World Record for the…”). The writing is just amazing, the plot is thoughtful and engaging, and the characters are truly unique and so incredibly well developed that you feel you know them personally. Ghost (the main character) narrates the story in a way that will have you laughing and crying at frequent intervals throughout the book. That boy will work his way into your heart, and you will be rooting for him all the way. It is a quick, enjoyable read, and a great addition to the middle school library. Good to know that there are three more books in the series, each focusing on one of the other track team newbies.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars