Review: Ghost is very quick and engaging read. It is authentic in tackling heavy issues such as theft, bullying, and domestic violence without being heavy handed yet with honesty and frankness. Reynolds has perfectly captured the funny and heartbreaking voice of a tween's pain and longing for a better life.
Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw has been running for three years, ever since the night his father shot a gun at him and his mother. Though naturally talented, Ghost is also a hot head and a regular attendee at the principal's office. 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 to walk the straight line, everyone always has something to say about his raggedy appearance or where he lives which stokes his anger 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?
I really like the combination of sports and self discovery in this book. Ghost comes to terms on what is bugging him. He also learns how to channel and hone his anger into his talent. He is also discovers that he is not the only person on the team that is dealing with personal demons either, leaving the door open for empathy and discussion. This is a first book in a planned series and I'm looking to finding out more about Ghost and his teammates.
Rating: 4 stars
Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.
If you like this book try: Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher, Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen