12 March 2018

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Series: Track, #1
# of Pages: 192
Publication: August 30th, 2016
Source: Library Copy
Genre: Realistic Fiction
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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?

Jason Reynolds is such an amazing man. This is the second book that I've read by him and was not let down by a long shot. Ghost focuses on the challenges faced by a young boy who goes by the nickname of Ghost. Ghost is a complex character that deals with some pretty hefty issues. It is through these issues that he joins a track team and learns more about himself and others. This book was heartfelt and definitely teaches kids a great lesson about not letting certain situations define your character. If you're looking for a good place to start with Jason Reynolds I definitely recommend this book.

I was uncertain about this book when I first picked it up. I wasn't sure if I was going to relate to the main character; however, I found him hilarious and easy to relate to. I never did condone the bad things that Ghost did in the book; however, I can say that I understand why he did them. He's coming from a really troubled background and his intentions are good but sometimes he lets his environment get the best of him. I think that one of the best things that he learns in the book is not letting his circumstances define him or determine what he's going to be in the future. 

I also enjoyed the representation in this book. Reynolds took kids that seemed normal on the outside and gave the reader closer insight to their personal lives which weren't so great. This imagery helped Ghost develop into a stronger character. He blossomed and opened up when he realized that all of the kids his age were going through something. I also loved the role model that Ghost found in his coach. A lot of times it is the people who are not biological parents that help kids the most especially when they're going through tough situations like Ghost's struggle with poverty. The friendships in this book were amazing too. I loved watching Ghost go from being a loner to building a core group of friends that he trusted and cared about. 

Overall, I think that this book has a lot to offer. It presents the story of a poor inner city kid who learns valuable lessons from friends and mentors. It's such a positive book and I definitely would recommend this to someone who's interested in children's books and loves Jason Reynolds. 


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