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  1 Ghost
Author: Reynolds, Jason
    Series: Track, #1
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Class: Fiction
Age: 10-14
Language: English
Demand: High
LC: PZ7.R335
Grade: 5-9
ISBN-13: 9781481450157
LCCN: 2016029678
Imprint: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: 08/30/2016
Availability: Available
List: $17.99
  Hardcover Reinforced
Physical Description: 181 pages ; 22 cm. H 8.25", W 5.5", D 0.8", 0.63 lbs.
LC Series: Track ;
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Diverse Juvenile Books, ages 10-19
Brodart's Diverse Titles: Black & African American (Teen)
Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
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Brodart's TOP Young Adult Titles
Bibliographies: Children's Core Collection, 23rd ed.
Children's Core Collection, 24th ed.
Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award, Gr. 6-8, Book lists
Middle and Junior High Core Collection, 13th ed.
Middle and Junior High Core Collection, 14th ed.
Nevada Young Readers' Award Nominees
New York Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers: Children's Middle Grade and Young Adult Books
New York Times Bestsellers: Children's Series
South Carolina Children's Book Award Winners
Texas Lone Star Reading List
Awards: Best Fiction for Young Adults
Best Multicultural Books List (CSMCL)
Booklist Starred Reviews
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Horn Book Guide Titles, Rated 1 - 4
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Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
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TIPS Subjects: Sports Stories
BISAC Subjects: JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / General
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Adolescence & Coming of Age
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
LC Subjects: Coaches (Athletics), Fiction
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Adolescence
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship
JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / General
Runners (Sports), Fiction
Runners (Sports), Juvenile fiction
Running, Fiction
Self-realization, Fiction
Teamwork (Sports), Fiction
Teamwork (Sports), Juvenile fiction
Track and field, Fiction
Track and field, Juvenile fiction
SEARS Subjects: Athletes, Fiction
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 4.6 , Points: 6.0
Lexile Level: 730
Reading Counts Level: 4.5 , Points: 11.0
Brodart's TOP Young Adult Titles | 09/01/2016
Publisher Annotation: Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds. Track series, 192pp.
Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 09/01/2016
Grades 5-8. Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw has been running for three years, ever since the night his father shot a gun at him and his mother. When he gets recruited by a local track coach for a championship team, they strike a deal: if Ghost can stop getting into fights at school, he can run for the Defenders, but one altercation and he's gone. Despite Ghost's best intentions, everyone always has something to say about his raggedy shoes, homemade haircut, ratty clothes, or his neighborhood, and he doesn't last 24 hours without a brawl. Will Coach and his mom give him another chance to be part of something bigger than himself, or is he simply destined to explode? With his second fantastic middle-grade novel of the year (As Brave as You, 2016), the ferociously talented Reynolds perfectly captures both the pain and earnest longing of a young boy. The first in the four-book Track series, this is raw and lyrical, and as funny as it is heartbreaking. It tackles issues such as theft, bullying, and domestic violence with candor and bravery, while opening a door for empathy and discussion. An absolute must-read for anyone who has ever wondered how fast you must be to run away from yourself. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Is anyone else putting out so many stellar books so quickly? The author of The Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (both 2015) keeps dashing along. Worthington, Becca. 192p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.
Kirkus Reviews | 08/01/2016
Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw feels like he's been running ever since his dad pulled that gun on him and his mom--and used it. His dad's been in jail three years now, but Ghost still feels the trauma, which is probably at the root of the many "altercations" he gets into at middle school. When he inserts himself into a practice for a local elite track team, the Defenders, he's fast enough that the hard-as-nails coach decides to put him on the team. Ghost is surprised to find himself caring enough about being on the team that he curbs his behavior to avoid "altercations." But Ma doesn't have money to spare on things like fancy running shoes, so Ghost shoplifts a pair that make his feet feel impossibly light--and his conscience correspondingly heavy. Ghost's narration is candid and colloquial, reminiscent of such original voices as Bud Caldwell and Joey Pigza; his level of self-understanding is both believably childlike and disarming in its perception. He is self-focused enough that secondary characters initially feel one-dimensional, Coach in particular, but as he gets to know them better, so do readers, in a way that unfolds naturally and pleasingly. His three fellow "newbies" on the Defenders await their turns to star in subsequent series outings. Characters are black by default; those few white people in Ghost's world are described as such. An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay. (Fiction. 10-14). 192pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2016.
Publishers Weekly | 08/08/2016
Ages 10-up. Reynolds (As Brave As You) uses a light hand to delve into topics that include gun violence, class disparity, and bullying in this compelling series opener. Seventh-grader Castle Cranshaw, nicknamed Ghost, knows nothing about track when a former Olympian recruits him as a sprinter for one of the city's youth teams. As far as Ghost is concerned, "whoever invented track got the whole gun means go thing right," something he learned firsthand when his father tried to shoot Ghost and his mother in their apartment three years prior. The trauma has had ripple effects on Ghost, including angry outbursts ("I was the boy.... with all the scream inside"), altercations at school, stealing, and lying. Joining the track team provides new friends, goals, and an opportunity for Ghost to move beyond his past. Ghost is a well-meaning, personable narrator whose intense struggles are balanced by a love of world records, sunflower seeds, and his mother. Coach's relationship with Ghost develops into a surrogate father-son scenario, adding substantial emotional resonance and humor to the mix. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Aug.). 192p. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.
School Library Journal | 12/01/2016
Gr 5-9--At school, Castle "Ghost" Crenshaw is taunted about where he lives and what he wears. He also has an anger management problem, but the kid can run, really run. Supported by a loving mother and a tough but caring track-and-field coach, Ghost learns a few lessons about life and teamwork while reminding readers of the potential in everyone. Nuanced characters facing real-life problems delivered with the author's irresistible warmth and humor. Mahnaz Dar, Shelley Diaz, Della Farrell, Daryl Grabarek, Kiera Parrott, Luann Toth, Kent Turner, Tyl. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2016.
Journal Reviews
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books | 10/01/2016
R. Gr. 5-7. Castle Crenshaw discovered his fleet feet on the night his drunken father pulled a gun on his mother and him, and the pair took off running into the night. Now Dad is in jail, Mom is working too hard, but Castle's getting by-or he would be if the likes of seventh-grade bully Brandon would just leave him alone. Hanging out on the park bleachers one afternoon, Castle, who insists on the nickname "Ghost," watches a track team at their season opening practice, unimpressed. When he swaggers up to the starting line and shows the team hotshot that he's really not all that, Ghost's obvious talent catches Coach's eye; after a quick meeting with Mom, he finds himself joining the Defenders, a city track team. Despite his speed, he's a rank novice in terms of team playing, and his off-track conduct-fighting at school, stealing-isn't all that great either, but Coach is merciful and doggedly insistent that Ghost can do better. A message-heavy scene in which the newbies bond over Chinese food and shared family secrets might play on tropes but successfully tugs at heartstrings. The final pages have Ghost lined up beside none other than the hated Brandon, but an ambiguous ending confirms that this is less about Ghost's track success than his journey to self-worth. Readers (track stars or slowpokes) will find that the redemptive relationship among a supportive mom, a skillful coach who believes in second (and third) chances, and a determined young man comes through louder than the final "BOOM" of the starter gun. EB. 192p. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2016.
Horn Book | 11/01/2016
Intermediate, Middle School. When it comes to providing mirrors for contemporary African American teens, Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest, rev. 1/14; The Boy in the Black Suit, rev. 3/15) has proven himself to be an emerging leader. His latest offering is the first in a projected series about four middle-school athletes and their efforts to better themselves, on and off the track. The first leg of this literary relay belongs to our title character. Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw is a young man with a taste for sunflower seeds, Guinness World Records, and people-watching; he also has a proclivity for getting into trouble, fighting, and running, stemming from the night his father (now in prison) pulled a gun on him and his mother. When Ghost happens upon the citywide track team, the Defenders, at practice and impulsively bests its fastest sprinter, the coach sees potential in the seventh grader. Ghost's path to seeing the same potential in himself is littered with stumbling blocks, including a pair of expensive silver running shoes Ghost can't afford but is convinced will help him run faster. Reynolds has created a wonderfully dynamic character in Ghost; his first-person narrative is one with which young readers will readily identify. Conflicting emotions are presented honestly and without judgment--while Ghost works through the trauma of his father's violent act, he is also able to hold on to positive memories. Reynolds's introduction of the series characters--Ghost, Lu, Patina, and Sunny--will have readers rooting for the entire Defenders team. eboni njoku. 181pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2016.
Horn Book Guide | 05/01/2017
2. In this series-starter, Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw is an African American young man with a proclivity for getting into trouble, fighting, and running, stemming from an incident with his now-imprisoned father. When Ghost impulsively races and bests the citywide track team's fastest sprinter, the coach sees potential in the seventh grader. Wonderfully dynamic Ghost's first-person narrative is one with which young readers will readily identify. en. 181pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2017.
Review Citations
New York Times Book Review | 08/28/2016