Monday, April 9, 2018

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

I've been hearing a lot of good things about Jason Reynolds, but so far, Ghost is the first book I've read by him. It definitely won't be the last. Ghost is a book that makes me want to go back to teaching so that I can place this book in the hands of my students.

Castle aka Ghost is a boy who can run, but he's never run for a track team. When a coach sees his natural talent, will Castle be able to tame his anger to be able to be on a team?

Castle is so real. He makes mistakes, but he is also a good person. When he makes his big mistake, I was impressed with how Reynolds handled it. I liked that Ghost struggled with his feelings of guilt. He didn't know how to make things right after what he'd done. I loved Coach. Every child needs an adult like Coach in their life. He is tough but fair.

My only complaint was that I wanted this book to be longer. The good news is that this is the first of four books in the Track Series, so I can get more of the characters I've come to love. This book really is just the right length for middle grade and middle school students. This book brings up many great discussion points and can help children come up with a plan to deal with anger, frustration, feelings of inadequacy, and fear. It also shows how to be a friend and to be someone who can be trusted.

I listened to the incredible audio version that was narrated by Guy Lockard. They chose the perfect narrator for this novel. I was trying to get ready for work while listening, and had a hard time with my eye makeup because I was tearing up - a lot. This book made me laugh and cry, which is the sign of good writing.

Thank you, Jason Reynolds for a wonderful book.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Another way to help our project is to purchase books from this Usborne link as we are currently using the hostess benefits to help buy books for the babies. You buy books that are delivered to your house for your children or grandchildren - or as baby shower gifts, and the hostess rewards help us get books for our NICU babies - a win win for all. Thanks to those of you who have already ordered; we are on our way to getting a lot of books for the babies. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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