Written by: Jason Reynolds
Cover Art by: We couldn’t find this, but if you know please contact us!
For ages: YA
Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, Love, Sports, Growing Up, Young Adult Lit, Violence, Self-Esteem, Friendship.
Summary: Castle, also known as Ghost (well not until he decides it’s his nickname) doesn’t really like school, and gets in a lot of trouble. Ghost knows he can run, though. He learned during one night that he wishes didn’t happen, and that night sticks with him.
When wandering around one day after school, Ghost sees some kids his age running around a track. He crashes a practice and beats the fastest kid on the team. The coach offers Ghost a ride home, and convinces his mother to let him on the team. But if he messes up and gets in trouble, he’s off. Will Ghost be able to turn his school performance around, or will he get caught up in a web of lies trying to keep it all together?
This is the first book in the track team series by author Jason Reynolds. He tackles a lot of issues that marginalized kids face-not enough money, food, or support available. Reynolds is a beautiful writer, and he makes the characters relatable as well as unique. He is part of a new generation of authors that is writing stories that push back on the dominant narrative, allowing youth of color to see themselves and their experiences reflected back in widely-published literature.
About the Author:
Jason Reynolds is one of the most important YA authors right now, he has such finesse and talent with words. Here is the About section from his website, because we can’t say it any better than he already has:
“Well, if you’ve made it here, that means you’ve survived the huge picture of my face! Congrats! And to reward you, I’m going to tell you all about…me. Sorry. No cake. No confetti. No money falling from the ceiling…this time.
So, I’m a writer. And when I say I’m a writer, I mean it in the same way a professional ball player calls himself an athlete. I practice everyday and do the best I can to be better at this writing thing, while hopefully bringing some cool stories to the world. The stories are kinda like my slam dunks. Except, I’m dunking words. In your FACE! Ha!
I graduated from the University of Maryland (where I spent about 65% of my time writing and reciting poetry all over campus…yeah, that was me) with a B.A. in English, then packed my bags and moved to Brooklyn because somebody told me they were giving away dream-come-true vouchers.
And if I ever find the person who told me that… let’s just say, no one was giving away anything. ANYTHING. Lucky for me I had all these crazy stories to keep me going. Ten years later, here I am, doing my best to string together an “ABOUT” section on my own website about my own books. Crazy.
Here’s what I know: I know there are a lot — A LOT — of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom. If you are reading this, and you happen to be one of these boys, first of all, you’re reading this so my master plan is already working (muahahahahahaha) and second of all, know that I feel you. I REALLY do. Because even though I’m a writer, I hate reading boring books too.”