Author: Jason Reynolds
Published: August 30, 2016 byAtheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
GoodReads Summary: 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?
Ricki’s Review: I will read anything by Jason Reynolds. He captures the adolescent voice perfectly. Ghost reminds me of so many kids that I taught, and if I was still teaching, I would be thrilled to bring this book to school to recommend it to dozens of my students. Luckily, I can now share it with preservice teachers! I am very excited that this book will be one installment of a series of companion texts. It doesn’t end with a hook, which I am grateful for, and I believe the next book will feature a different character. There are so many great lessons that emerge from this story. Teachers would have much to discuss in their classrooms. I highly, highly recommend this text. It belongs in schools and in the hands of kids.
Kellee’s Review: This book is one of those books that I don’t like to tell people what it is about because any summary just doesn’t capture the brilliance of the characterization and story. However, through the word-of-mouth compliments of middle schoolers, it has become a favorite book for many of our school’s students and even won our HCMS Mock Newbery Award! I think it is Jason Reynolds’s way of connecting with adolescent readers through a true voice and circumstances that so many of them will connect to.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: We recommend using this book to teach characterization. Ghost reflects the qualities of a human—he has good and bad qualities and makes some mistakes. Students might list all of the lessons that Ghost learns through the story. They could even try to map the lessons he learns in a visual diagram of their choice.
Discussion Questions: How does Ghost’s past haunt him? Does it shape who he is?; What poor choices does Ghost make? Why does he make the choices, and are they justified?; How does the track team act as an unconventional family for Ghost?
Flagged Passage: “You can’t run away from who you are, but what you can do is run toward who you want to be.”
Read This If You Loved: The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds; The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen; Boy21 by Matthew Quick; Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Peña
Subscribe to Our Posts
Recently Popular Posts
- Top Books for Struggling/Reluctant Middle School Readers
- This is my Anti-Lexile, Anti-Reading Level Post.
- The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb
- Top Ten Tuesday: Our Favorite Pairings of YA Books and…
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Novels with Science Content
- Journey by Aaron Becker
- Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers
- Engaging Classroom Discussion Techniques
- We Were Liars by e. lockhart
Topics#mustread Abuse Adventure ALAN Animals Art Author Baby Bullying Creativity Death/Dying Diversity Education Empathy Environment Fairy Tale Retelling Family Friendship Guest post Heroism History Identity/Coming of Age Illustrations Imagination Justice Love Mental Health Motherhood Music Nature Poetry Professional Development Racism Relationships Religion/Faith Research School Science Sports Survival Teaching Violence War Women's Rights Writing