Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

How I Heard About It:  Before I went to #NCTE16 in Atlanta I heard so many positive things about this new book from Jason Reynolds.  I actually bought it and it was in my TBR pile.  While at #NCTE16, the title came up quite a bit in conversations.  I attended the Charlotte Huck Awards Luncheon.  The committee announced the fiction winners for 2017 and this title was the winner.  As soon as I got back home, I grabbed it from my pile and read it this past week.  

What It Is About:  "Ghost" hasn't had it easy.  He is trying to make the best of middle-school, but it isn't easy.  As a young boy, he "ran" from his father as he went after him and his mother.  Since that event, the two of them have been trying to make the best of life.  Ghost has a natural talent for running and speed like no one has seen.  While out on his own run, he stops and watches a professional track team practice.  When challenged by one the runners, he shows them what he is made of, and finds himself the newest member of this elite team.  He thinks it will be easy street until the coach puts demands and expectations on him that no one else has.  Ghost needs to stay on "track" both on the track and at school.  This isn't easy as he tends to get himself into "trouble".  With the help of a new coach, a group of "newbies" on the track team, and pushing himself; Ghost is on the road, or track, to a new beginning and showing what he is truly made of.  

What I Thought Of It:  Mr. Reynolds sure does have a talent for writing.  Everything I've read by him is so incredibly good.  This is my first middle-grade book that I've read by him and it so measures up to the young-adult works I've read.  The writing is seamless and the story flows like a river.  Reynolds created a strong, independent, and determined character that captivated me from the very first page.  I enjoyed how he was a flawed young boy, but had such heart to do the right thing.  The other "newbies" on the track team were interesting, unique, and added greatly to Ghost's journey.  The coach was one of a kind and the type of guy that everyone needs on their side.  I look forward to reading the second book in this new series called "TRACK".  

Who Should Read It:  I already have a reader in mind for this novel.  He and Ghost share many similarities and I know he will be able to relate to so many aspects of this story.  The book could make for an excellent read aloud in grades four, five, and six.  Independent readers in these grades would be the perfect audience.  As always, adult readers who read middle-grade novels, need to put this title on their TBR list.  It is wonderful!  Happy Reading…

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment