Castle Cranshaw, also known as Ghost, loves basketball. One day at the park, he stops to watch the Defenders track team practice. Ghost sees Lu, who is a really fast runner. Ghost isn't interested in being on the track team (or running in general) but decides to race Lu for fun. The race results were extremely close, with no determined winner. Having watched the race, Coach invites Ghost to join his team of elite track athletes, but with one condition: he has to behave in school. Ghost has a record of suspensions and detentions, and both Coach and his mother agree that behavior has to stop.
At first, Ghost was uninterested in being on the track team. As time goes on, he learns what it is like to be a part of a real team. Now, track is now something very important to Ghost, and he rises and improves to be a better runner. Ghost's talent for running comes from a difficult memory from his past. His father is a heavy drinker who didn’t pay much attention to his family. When his drunk, angry father tries to kill Ghost and his mother, they literally, run away.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
Ghost is an amazing choice, whether you buy it or borrow it from the library. It is the first of a 4-part series that features other members of the track team. Anyone in the 4th grade and older will find this book interesting and enjoyable.
A page-turner of the first order! Even the most reluctant reader will have a hard time pulling themselves away.
The story includes violence, drug dealing, and references to an alcoholic parent.
This is the first of a 4-part series about an elite middle school track team. Each one is about an individual athlete. This is about a boy who, through track, is able to confront his past and other challenges.
Ghost is the first of 4 books about the Defenders track athletes, and the story ends without readers knowing who won the race. That is a good place to start discussion. There are also more personal themes and discussion about the characters, their choices, and what readers did/didn't like about them or would do differently. The Iowa Center for the Book has a selection of questions that are structured around specific themes.
Bring the story to life and let readers get a sense of track by staging your own workouts and races. Can they beat the times of the track members?
10 and Up
10 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13
Borrow, at least. The story is very powerful and you'll want to read all four.