Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

"I got a lot of scream inside," explains Castle "Ghost".  And boy does he.  He's still trying to let the scream out from three years ago when his father nearly killed Ghost and his mother.  Now Dad is in jail and Ghost and his mom are managing on their own.  Still, altercation after altercation at school, life is a challenge.  But suddenly things start to matter once Ghost joins a track team and gets a new mentor and role model in his life, Coach.

Now there is no going back.  Nothing like being part of a team, especially when you get to eat duck with the newbies. Of course, Ghost still has a lot of learning and it doesn't come easy.  How badly does he want the silver bullet sneakers?  I really hope not badly enough.  What about that feeling when putting on a brand new team jersey for the first time?  Ahhh...if that doesn't help get the scream out, I don't know what will.

"Don't ever let someone call your life, your dreams, little." says Mr. Charles, the corner store owner where Ghost is a regular. Such sage advice. I have big dreams for this book and although there is some mature content I know my students are not going to want to put it down.  I have dreams of finding my former students who loved The Crossover and Booked and immediately putting Ghost in their hands.

Here's a debate Ghost and Coach had: Lebron or Jordan?  Know who you would pick?  I'm a Jordan and Magic gal myself (Ghost is Lebron and Coach, you can imagine, is Jordan) but when it comes to an author to recommend to boys and girls alike in upper elementary/middle school, hands down, I pick Jason Reynolds. So break out the sunflower seeds, your running shoes, "get on the line" and make like Usain Bolt and Ghost to the library for a copy today!  Then come to me and tell me what you thought about the ending...

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