Rummanah Aasi

Description: Patina, or Patty, runs like a flash. She runs for many reasons—to escape the taunts from the kids at the fancy-schmancy new school she’s been sent to since she and her little sister had to stop living with their mom. She runs from the reason WHY she’s not able to live with her “real” mom any more: her mom has The Sugar, and Patty is terrified that the disease that took her mom’s legs will one day take her away forever. So Patty’s also running for her mom, who can’t. But can you ever really run away from any of this? As the stress builds up, it’s building up a pretty bad attitude as well. Coach won’t tolerate bad attitude. No day, no way. And now he wants Patty to run relay…where you have to depend on other people? How’s she going to do THAT?

Review: Patina is another hit in the middle grade Track series by Jason Reynolds. Patina Jones is an ambitious young tween and a gifted athlete. She not only loves to run, she needs to run-and win. Since the death of her father and her mother's declining health problems, Patty's track team keeps her focused and an outlet to let out her frustrations. Patty and her younger sister, Maddy, are experiencing a lot of changes in their lives. They have left their urban neighborhood to live in a different part of the city with their uncle Tony (who is black like Patty and Maddy) and their aunt Emily (who is white), whom they affectionately call Momly, and attend a new, affluent school, Chester Academy. 
  What I love about the Track series is that Reynolds beautifully captures the authentic voice and issues of these middle schoolers. Patina does touch upon important issues such as socioeconomic disparities, forming erroneous assumptions, and success depends on teamwork, all without feeling like an issues book. The topics flow organically in the plot while Patty makes her observations and epiphanies on her own. I also really appreciate how the adult characters provide support and guidance as well as be a positive role model to the tweens in the book. Patty is a character whom you will easily love and will root for, especially endearing is how she fiercely love and care for her sister Maddy. Patina can easily be read as a standalone but after reading this book you really wouldn't want to miss out on the first book in this series, Ghost, either.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

If you like this book try: Sunny (Track #3) by Jason Reynolds coming in April 2018, As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
1 Response
  1. I agree with everything you said. I think Jason Reynolds really is a wonderful author whose books will resonate with teens.

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