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Ghost (RUN SERIES): 1

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He’s never thought about running, but he joins the track team and it gives him a focus and a way to work through his difficult feelings. This is the first book in the Track series: What conflicts do you think Ghost is going to face in the next book? The first time he ran -- truly ran -- he was running for his life: running ain't nothing I ever had to practice. But he's not just running toward the finish line, he's running away from his past and the anger he's got buried inside.

Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him? Castle's been through a major trauma, and as his self-given nickname--GHOST--suggests, he does his best to move through the world under the radar to avoid trouble. I've heard the author also does some superhero novelizations for young readers, so those are probably great too, but I love the "found family" element of this one best. Reynolds has created a character whose journey is so genuine" NEW YORK TIMES; "An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay.When I was really young, I used to ask him if a sunflower was going to grow inside of him since he ate the seeds so much.

And She Could Not Find a Single Young Adult Fiction Book about a male-identified person of African Descent who runs. Charles, who, by the way, looks just like James Brown if James Brown were white, has been ringing me up for sunflower seeds five days a week for about, let me think… since the fourth grade, which is when Ma took the hospital job. This middle grade book, on the long list for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, is a must read for kids ages ten and beyond. When I served on a yearly committee of librarians in New York I’d notice that some books were difficult to get anyone to read.Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent.

He knows because when his dad came at him and his mother on one violent night, running was the only way to get away. It's real, it has a very strong voice and character (I'm actually sad that the rest of the books in the series are supposed to be about other characters), and it's about a sport/fitness activity that a lot of people can do easily: we need more lit about stuff like this. He is bullied for not having the right kit and made to feel inferior to the other children on the team, and this leads him to make some poor choices. See, the gym across the street has this big window—like the whole wall is a window—and they have those machines that make you feel like you walking up steps and so everybody just be facing the bus stop, looking all crazy like they’re about to pass out. Jason’s many works of fiction include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, For Every One, Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Run series ( Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor.Those are the most obvious examples, but the book is full of little mentions, peppered throughout, of where Ghost’s class comes in to things. His character is so authentic, you wouldn’t be surprised if he walked straight off the page, living and breathing. Think about the consequences Ghost faces as a result of his decision to steal a pair of running shoes. Either Ghost coupled with The Crossover or a novel I have done in previous years, Peak by Roland Smith (which I am not totally enamored with, either). Then there’s a cliffhanger where it was a big race and the starting gun fired great and that was the ending!

Not sure how he found out that was some kinda special talent, and I can’t even imagine how much snot be in those balloons, but hey, it’s a thing and Andrew’s the best at it. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he gets home. In addition to training the Defenders to be competitive runners, Coach also teaches them to work together as a team, helping them learn to be responsible and empathetic.

They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Whilst people have particular perceptions of what kind of person he is, his own self worth and expectation that he will be let down are also a major theme in this book. We are often affected by forces outside our control, forces we don’t even necessarily notice, particularly when we’re children. Ghost and his mother are not well off; his father attempted to shoot them one drunken night, and Ghost retains a certain amount of fear and desire to run from that traumatic night. My sixth graders are reluctant readers who like fast paced, realistic fiction with characters they can root for.

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