Review of ‘Ghost’
Book Boy Jr has *almost* inspired me to read a book about running with this review…almost. Actually I am hooked on the idea of this book and think it would be perfect for our senior school library – the mix of social issues and sport will make it a popular choice for middle grade readers.
Reviews by young people are my very favourite. So often we adults review a book with all our life experiences and preconceived ideas, and literary awards are very much full of the books deemed ‘worthy’ by adult readers. Young reviewers like Book Boy (Joe Visser), Book Boy Jr and Jazzy make my librarian heart happy and I am always so pleased when one of them sends me a book review like the one below – full of honesty, insight and pure book enthusiasm.
Thanks Book Boy Jr!
Reviewer: Book Boy Jr (13)
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Age Range: middle grade, young adult.
Themes: sport, running, teamwork, family, friends, school, poverty, bullying, resilience.
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About the book:
‘Ghost’ is an award-winning book that tells the tale of Castle Cranshaw, a troubled seventh-grade boy who has had to deal with a lot in his life.
Castle’s father is in prison for trying to shoot Castle, and Castle’s mum is always working extremely hard to make a better life for Castle. They live in a rough neighbourhood called Glass Manor and Castle struggles at school and feels he has no purpose. He is bullied and made fun of because he’s poor, which means his mum cuts his hair and he wears hand-me-down clothes.
Until one day, through freak luck, Castle lands himself on a track team with a coach who won gold at the Olympics. The only trouble is, Castle has to stay out of trouble to keep his spot on the team…. and so the story unravels over the month of his journey towards race day.
What I thought:
I loved this book. I can honestly say that, even as someone who is usually obsessed with all sports, I always thought that running as a sport by itself was a bit pointless. But, after reading this book, I was motivated to go for a run.
And I think that’s what I loved so much about this book – it was so motivating and inspiring.
Of course, it is a sports novel and, so far, I haven’t found one I really disliked, but still this book felt different – weirdly different to the others.
Why? It was …. good.
Not to say that the other sports novels I’ve read were not good, but this one was especially good.
Good enough that I, who doesn’t classify myself as a fast reader, found myself ripping through this novel in about three days. I was really astounded by this and I think that was what I found so good about this book: it always felt free-flowing and at no point boring what-so-ever.
In conclusion, I just really loved this book and believe it’s up there with some of my favourite books ever.
I give it 6 stars out of 5, and would recommend it to readers 8+ – particularly if they love sport, but even if they don’t.