I didn't think I would fall in love with this book as much as I did. Jason Reynolds, who wrote All American Boys (one of the books being read as part of this year's Global Read Aloud) was an author I wasn't familiar with. After reading this, I want to get my hands on more of his books.
Castle Cranshaw, who's given himself the nickname "Ghost", is a boy with a lot of "scream inside." (What a great choice of words! We've all taught students like this.) He's boy who's unafraid to fight, talk smack to kids or his teachers and get to sent to the principal's office. He's angry, and he has good reason to be. And then, one day, he comes across a track team practicing, and challenges one of the fastest runners to a race. In that moment, something happens to him, and although he doesn't instantly change, he knows that's where he belongs.
This is a story about a boy coming to know himself, realizing that he can't run away from who he is or what's happened to him. Beautifully told, and rapidly paced, this is a wonderful addition to any 5th-8th grade classroom library!