There he stood, Castle Cranshaw. Cas. Shack. Ghost. The tip of his ragged, faded high-tops nearly dipping into the bold white line, he actually felt quite calm. After all, it was just practice running, against a proud show-off. Beep! The shrill sound of Coach’s whistle rung through the air. And Ghost didn’t hear anything, feel anything, see anything, until he had finished those 100 meters, and finished them well.
The main character in Ghost by Jason Reynolds is Castle Cranshaw, a boy flowing through middle school, all his nicknames rattling inside of him like spare pennies in rusty soup cans. But what was he inside? Was he plain old Castle, young son Cas, poor makeshift Shack, or some brand new characteristic-full Ghost? Well, Ghost, the name he likes best, has always had a rough life. His father tried to shoot at him when he was little, and his mother has been struggling to feed him and give him a roof to sleep under for years. Brandon Simmons bullies him harshly at school, and Ghost’s joy is in far grasp. There’s just one good thing he acknowledges: His love and talent for running. Will being part of a real track team end up just being another class to get to for Ghost? Or will he learn new life lessons with the guide of his over-the-top coach?
In general, Ghost is actually not that well behaved. He has been through a ton, but that can’t always be an excuse. He should probably start learning what kind of person he wants to be molded into, and try to change and adjust. In defense of how he feels, sometimes Ghost takes defiant steps and says confident things to stand up for himself. This can be an admirable trait, as long as he stands up in a right and not violent way. Ghost can remind me of myself in the way that he eats sunflower seeds everyday like his dad, and I like to sketch as close as I can to how my older brother sketches. Ghost not being the most wealthy is like many other people in the world, who also struggle to get food and shelter. And, this book in which being on a track team helps Ghost as a person in different ways, it is similar to a book where a girl is helped by the company of her dog. Plus, in Ghost, he lost his dad, and in the other book, she lost her mom.
I recommend this book to people who love realistic fiction and watching characters learn to perceive solutions to their problem oceans, just before the waves rise too high. The AR level is not challenging; (4.6) this will be a wonderful book to read on your own time, as it is not long at all, and can be read within a weekend or two. If you are a realistic fiction lover and would ever like a story to read when you’re bored, then I’m sure you will enjoy reading Ghost and soon find that your hands are glued to the cover.
By: [Alison K.]