By Jason Reynolds
AR level: 4.6
AR points: 6.0
Word count: 39.562
I suggest 3rd through 9th grade.
I had heard about the book Ghost and seen it during my weekly trips to the bookstore. However, when two fictional kids in The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (another great middle grade read) discussed it in the story, I checked it out at the library.
Funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and honest, the kid in the novel, Ghost, ends up on a track team and learns things about himself that any kid that age is trying to understand. Both boys and girls will love the athletic angle and real-deal talking. I challenge adults to read this too, and then to ask yourself if you would do what the coach in this story does: change a young man’s life forever, even if it’s hard.
Description from B&N:
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.
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started 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 sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?