Friday, December 16, 2016


Ghost, AKA Castle Cranshaw, is a runner--not a track runner, just a run-for-your-life runner.  It all started the night an argument between his parents turned into something more, and his dad tried to shoot Ghost and his mom.

Now his dad is in jail, his mom is working two jobs, and Ghost spends a lot of time on his own.  There is no extra money to spare, so he spends his time walking around the neighborhood.  That's how he finds the track team.  He didn't even know people ran as a sport, but he stops to watch.

He gets an accidental try out that leads to a spot on the team but only if he stays out of trouble.  No mistakes.  Ghost isn't sure he can be perfect with worrying about money, living in a bad neighborhood, the lingering fear of his father and the gun, and bullies at school, but he's willing to try.  Now that he knows what it feels like to be on a team, he doesn't want to lose it.

Jason Reynolds's foray into middle grades fiction is a delight.  Ghost's voice is perfect while still being clean enough for middle grades.  He's funny, angry, and confused--like most middle schoolers.  Reynolds is particularly successful when he writes about Ghost's underlying anger as being full of scream.  Highly recommended!

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