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I thoroughly enjoyed the realistic storyline describing early Colonial relationships and developing conflicts with the native Americans. It is simple to understand why interactions became difficult and misunderstood due to language, religion, and political agendas. Not so realistic perhaps was the longterm interracial relationship between the narrator, a native who was unfairly killed by a European settler, but lived on as a ghost, and his white colonial friend. Still it worked and I recommend this book for those interested in early American history.
Ghost Hawk begins with the birth of Small Hawk, a member of the Pokanoket tribe of Massachusetts at the time of the arrival of the first white people. It follows his life until his death by a white man’s bullet at age twelve and then follows the story of John Wakely of about the same age until his death a lot of years later by the bullet of a Native American. Throughout this time John and Small Hawk are friends, first meeting for a few times before Small Hawk’s death, after which John meets and is guided by Small Hawk’s spirit. It is strong fiction in a historical setting. The story captures the conflict between the Native Americans who understand themselves as of the land and the Europeans who understand land as something you and sell. Sadly by the end of the story, the Native Americans search they must succumb to the land to continue to exist. This is also the sad tale on both sides of what happens when culture are more committed to building stronger walls rather than greater trust.
My son chose this as a historical fiction novel for his sixth grade class. It was perfect, and as I am a high school teacher, I thought it was perfect historical fiction. Very insightful. A really amazing story, and weaves in perfect perspective from that time period in a creative and interesting way. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the time period, a sad story… However, one we need to be aware of. Highly recommmended
Only in the mind of the brilliant Susan Cooper could a story like this be steeped properly to be served up to the reader in such a magnificent way. Taking us back into the time in American history that has become more legendary than factual, Ms. Cooper crafts a tale of time and put with action that is expertly whispered into our consciousness with beauty, respect and the chance of the sad truth of the time. Ghost Hawk honors the mythic traditions of the First People and invites us to witness this time in a method that compels the reader to question what they thought they knew; possibly opening the mind's door just enough to search time to venture out further into artifacts that might include more stories from those times. A masterful novel for all ages.
Amazing story line with characters that are simple to obtain wrapped-up in. My disappointment is in how the relationship between the two main characters (Little Hawk and John Wakely) fails to deliver an impact to the story equal to its build-up. A huge let-down for me.
Picking up where the Maximum Ride series ended, Hawk is the first in a fresh series centering on Max and Fang’s daughter. I flew through the pages of this entertaining book. It has everything you wish in a amazing fantasy; interesting characters, a quick moving plot, lots of action all leading to a satisfying conclusion. I’m angry for Hawk, the young woman who practically raised herself, surviving the mean roads of the Town of the Dead - she’s got spunk. Eagerly looking forward to the next installment in this amazing fresh dystopian fantasy series.
Jason Reynolds captures all of the nostalgia of summer reading clubs with this title. The story is a coming-of-age story of sorts that provides realistic portraits of the characters. Written in an easy-to-read tone, the dialogue has a music that sings across the pages leaving all kinds of rhythm with every turn. Although some of the story can be predicted, it is familiar mainly because the plot is carried out in neighborhoods not unlike ones we have known in our own lifetime. Old-school ways of taking care of kids are shared in the story and brilliantly full-circle resolution to typical issues in mentoring are detailed. One of the best parts of the book is that it prepares you for the next one.
I’m currently a fifth grade teacher with the gifted inclusion class. My school is located in a low-income high minority area. My goal this year was to not just choose amazing books for them to read, but to choose amazing DIVERSE books. I read about someone saying something along the lines of everyone needs to be able to see themselves in a book and it resonated with me. I think it’s equally necessary to learn about others and their circumstances create a longer story longer, I wanted to choose something relevant to my students and their lifestyles and I wanted a MC who was African American. I’d read Jason Reynold and Brendan Kiely’s “All American Boy” and when I heard about “Ghost” I knew I wanted it for my students.I chose to read the first chapter aloud to my students and it was a homerun for them from the very first page. They were drawn in by his use of language, writing style, and the plot itself. Castle is lovable and most importantly he’s real. Whether my students are as economically disadvantaged as him, have a family member in prison, or have simply liked a sport or been in an “altercation” at school, every single student identified with him in some way.I pulled articles from online about albinism (to connect to Lu), the effects of a parent being in prison, and about the benefits of participating in after-school programs to present various relationships and connections to the text. It has been a amazing experience.I HIGHLY recommend this book for middle grades readers and up. Everything about it is worth reading and the end will leave you wanting more!
National Book Award Finalist, “Ghost”, is a strong portrayal of a troubled teen who lacks direction. His choices are often wrong, wrong, wrong, but it’s simple to understand why he keeps making the mistakes he does. Castle Cranshaw has natural talent for running. But he hasn’t been running track; his experience is running for his LIFE! When an Olympic medal-winning track coach sees “Ghost’s” potential, he inserts himself into the life of this mad teen. Castle’s single mother struggles to provide what her son needs, but it takes the challenge of a track team, the help of a coach and a compassionate merchant to unleash what’s been bottled up in the youth for far too long. Author Jason Reynolds is no stranger to award-winning books. Three of his works have received the Coretta Scott King award. Reynolds has introduced us to several diverse characters in “Ghost”. This book is the first in the Track series about a talented group of children who have a possibility at the Junior Olympics. They have a lot to prove, though, first to each other......and then to themselves! This inspirational tale is headed to the sixth grade classroom of my daughter, Jen. Not only is she a phenomenal reading teacher, she’s also a track coach. All readers including her reluctant ones will be asking for more books by Reynolds. They’ll eagerly await fresh titles in the Track series. So will I!
It's no secret that I love everything with Jason Reynolds's name on it, but GHOST was really something special. It follows an impoverished child name Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw who accidentally joins a recreational track squad after beating the team's fastest sprinter in an impromptu race. Castle's been through a major trauma, and as his self-given nickname--GHOST--suggests, he does his best to move through the globe under the radar to avoid trouble.Of course he fails. And that's what I loved about this book. You have this child who does a number of "bad" things, but it's hard to obtain angry at him because his reasons, for the most part, are good. Jason Reynolds does an awesome job of getting this kid's heart onto the page, and even when you're like "Nooooo, Ghost! Don't do it!", you're rooting for him.And then there's Coach. Who Ghost describes as having a head that makes him look like a turtle (LOL!). Coach stands in brilliant contract to Ghost's father (who is at the center of the trauma Ghost has suffered), and when HIS backstory is finally revealed, the story coheres into this perfect, multifaceted-diamond begin to what is sure to be an wonderful middle grade series. Can't wait for the next book!
This is a generalization, but in my experience librarians really have fun reading within their comfort zones. They’ll travel outside of them from time to time but always they return to the books that they like the most. Children’s librarians are just the same. The fantasy readers stick to fantasy. The realism fans go with realism. Graphic novel readers with comics. When I served on a yearly committee of librarians in Fresh York I’d message that some books were difficult to obtain anyone to read. Horse books, for example, just sat on our shelves untouched. Nonfiction could take some prodding. And as for sports books . . . forget about it. Nobody ever got near them. Still, you can’t give up on them. Mike Lupica and Tim Green may rule the field but that doesn’t mean other people don’t create a lot out of athletics. If our Newbery winning The Crossover by Kwame Alexander taught us anything, it was that. Now Jason Reynolds, a young adult author until this year, has produced a middle grade novel centered on that must unlikely of sports: track. It skirts the clichés. It dodges the usual pitfalls. It makes you care about a child who keeps messing up over and over and over again. It’ll create you like sports books, even if you can’t generally stand them. And now we’ve got to search a method to obtain a lot of it into the hands of kids. him Ghost. You can call him Castle Crenshaw if you wish to (that’s technically his name) but he’s been calling himself Ghost ever since the night his dad got drunk and threatened Castle and his mom with a gun. Ghost learned to run that night and you might say he’s been running ever since. He’s got a load of anger inside that he doesn’t know how to with so he tends to take it out on others at school. Then one day he spots a track warm-up and takes an instant dislike to the albino child in the expensive tracksuit. Without thinking about it twice Ghost beats the guy on the track, running on the outside, which gets the attention of the coach. Coach begs Ghost to join and Ghost reluctantly agrees but it isn’t what he expected. The other children there all have their own lives, few of them easy. The running is much harder than anything Ghost has ever experienced before. And then there’s the fact that no matter how quick he is, Ghost can’t run away from trouble. It follows him and if he’s not careful it’s going to follow him right onto the Basketball. Even football. These are the sports of fiction. I doubt anyone has ever run any statistics on it, but if you were to gather together all the children’s sports books and group them by type, the baseball books would undoubtedly outweigh all the others 2:1. That’s because baseball is a android game with a natural rise and fall to its action. Basketball has speed and football has brute force, all amazing things when writing a story. Track? In track you run and then you stop. At least that’s how I always looked at it. For Jason Reynolds, though, it’s different. He didn't write this book with track as a single focus. He looks at what the sport boils down to. Basically, this is a book about running. Running from mistakes (forgive the cliché), from very true threats, for your life, and for your team. Why you run and where you run and how you run. And if that's where you're coming from, then track is a very amazing choice of a sport indeed.On paper, this book looks like it’s the sort of story that’s all been done before. That’s where Reynolds’ writing comes in to play. First off, it’s worth noticing that Mr. Reynolds is blessed with a keen sense of humor. This comes to play not just in the text but also in small in-jokes here and there. Like the fact that one of the runners (that, I should mention, gets chop later in the book because his grades are slipping) is named Chris Myers. Christopher Myers is the son of Walter Dean Myers, and a mate to Jason Reynolds. I love Jason's descriptions too. Mr. Charles at the corner store, “looks just like James Brown if James Brown were white. . .” Or Ghost saying later, “… for something to create you feel tough, you gotta be a small bit scared of it at first.” There are some beautiful unbelievable callbacks hidden in the story as well. Right at the start, almost like it’s some kind of superhero origin story, we hear how Ghost heard the gun go off that night he ran away from his home with his mom and “I felt like the loud shot created my legs move even faster.” That ties in beautifully with the starter pistol that goes off at the very very end of the book.But maybe what I like the most about Jason Reynolds’ books is that he applies this keen sense of the complexity to his characters. I don’t think the man could write a straight one-dimensional villain to save his soul. Even his worst characters have these brief moments of humanity to them. In this case, Ghost’s dad is the worst character. You don’t obtain much worse than shooting at your wife and child after all. Yet for all that, Ghost still can't support but love the guy and eats sunflower seeds in his memory. Each hero in the book has layers that you can peel away as the story progresses. Even Ghost, ESPECIALLY Ghost, who makes you wish to yell and him and cheer for him, sometimes at the same ere’s been a monumental push for increased diversity in children’s literature in the latest few years. Diversity can mean any number of things and it often focuses on race. In a weird way, increasing the number of racially diverse books on a given publisher’s release calendar isn’t hard if the publisher is dedicated to the notion. Far more difficult is figuring out how you increase the economic diversity. Middle grade characters are almost always middle class. If they’re working class then they tend to be historical. Contemporary lower income children in realistic novels are almost unheard of. For example, how a lot of books for kids have you ever read with children living in shelters? I’ve read just one, and I’m a children’s librarian. So I watched what Reynolds did here with amazing interest. Ghost isn’t destitute or anything but his single mom makes ends meet by working long hours at a hospital. Middle class children are remarkably amazing at ignoring their own privilege while children like Ghost become almost invisible. In the book, Ghost’s decision to initially race Lu isn’t solely based on how Lu struts around the track, thinking he’s the bee’s knees. It’s also on his clothes. “…Lu, was decked out in the flyest gear. New Nike running shoes, and a full-body skintight suit . . . He wore a headband and a gold chain around his neck, and a diamond glinted in each ear.” Later Ghost makes a decision regarding a particularly fancy pair of running shoes. That’s an economic decision as well. Those are the most obvious examples, but the book is full of small mentions, peppered throughout, of where Ghost’s class comes in to things. It’s nice to see an author who gets that. We are often affected by forces outside our control, forces we don’t even necessarily notice, particularly when we’re children. If young readers see it, they’ll be reading between the lines, just like Reynolds wants them to.Right at the beginning of the book, when Coach is trying to convince Ghost’s mom that he should be running, Ghost realizes that he’s in a situation that’s played out in loads of sports films. He thinks, “If this went like the movies, I was either going to score the game-winning touchdown (which is impossible in track) or . . . die.” Sometimes you can gauge how amazing a book is by how self-aware its characters are. But sometimes you just read a book, place it down, and think, “Man. That was good. That was really good.” This is a book that actually created me tear up, and there aren’t a lot of middle grade books that do that. I was rooting for Ghost hard, right until the end. I was caring about a sport that I’d never otherwise think about in a million years. And I was admiring it from begin to finish for all that it accomplishes in its scant 180 pages. This is the book you hand to the children who wish something true and amazing and honest. There are a lot of Ghosts out there in the world. Hopefully some of them will explore themselves here. Run, don’t walk, to pick this book r ages 10 and up.
I never read this book. My nephew borrowed this from a mate at school but wanted his own copy to hold reading. According to him it is fantastic. So a mate of mine works with a group of 5th grade boys who Hate reading. I recommended this book and they started reading this book and would not place it down. Later when they were having discussions on the beginning of the book, she said they recalled info even she couldn't remember.
My 11y/o son and I are reading Ghost as our read aloud this month. From the start, this book has gripped us. My son identifies with Ghost as a young Black male faced with growing up in a single parent home. Ghost gives us a possibility to discuss different subjects like making amazing versus poor choices, parental alcoholism and domestic violence. The book definitely has serious moments but they are intermixed with lighthearted ones. I would definitely recommend Ghost. We can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series! Jason Reynolds deserves praise for this book.
I enjoyed reading this lots! The story is about a seventh grader named Castle ‘Ghost’ Cranshaw living with his mother in Fresh York Town and his attempt to stay out of the problem that follows him by joining one of the best track squads in the city. While doing so, he realizes a lot of things about his past and future all while learning valuable life lessons in unexpected places. Ghost is the narrator and one of the main characters in the book. Coming from a poorer neighborhood with no Dad and a cafeteria worker for a mother makes him a target for bullying. Yet he has potential to achieve success if he can control his emotions. He has gone through a lot, especially with his Dad, who is a key reason to why and how he runs. His playful voice makes it seem like he’s sitting right next to you as you read, full of emotion and genuine passion about the story, which is why the book is so simple to read and fall in love with. Another main hero is Ghost’s track coach, someone who is wise beyond his years and can identify with Ghost, which is what makes their bond so powerful throughout the book. He wants the best for everyone (even if it means making them push themselves) and is the type of person who would go to the ends of the earth for the people he cares about- especially the team. The latest four main characters are Lu, Sunny, and Patina. They are all fresh to the track team- just like Ghost. They each have special quirks and secrets that create their stories alluring to Ghost and the reader as well. Conflict in the story unfolds when Ghost can’t hold his promise to his coach and his mother to stay out of problem while being on the track team. He cuts corners and lies to cover up the problem and a lot of things he gets involved in that he’s not proud of, more importantly the things he knows his mother and coach won’t be proud of. There is also an internal conflict as Ghost struggles to overcome his past and turn the anger and damage he’s experienced into motivation to run fast- and not from his problems. The book is beautiful unique, mainly because the characters are extremely unique. Each are so intriguing because the reader can relate to at least one of them, which makes the characters and the story more exciting, as you root for the characters in the story. Also, Ghost’s ‘voice’ or the author’s style of writing makes the story so simple to visualize, because as you read, it seems like you are casually conversing with Ghost about the entire story. The resolutions to the conflicts Ghost encounters also contributes to book’s uniqueness. I liked the fact that the book could appeal to so a lot of people because it discusses how to with conflict, something we all face. But the characters, surprises within the plot, and overall uniqueness of the book created such a common problem an extraordinary story. There is one thing I disliked though, and that is the book’s abrupt ending. The entire moment the book seemed to build up to- Ghost’s first track meet- seemed to be chop short. Just as he begins to run, the book ends. This left me unsatisfied, as I would’ve liked to see how Ghost performed and how all of his work payed off in the end. I do have fun an ending that thoroughly wraps all elements of the story up though, so maybe that’s just my preference. Also, there is a sequel so maybe the ending was setting up the sequel, but regardless, I was disappointed with the ending. I would classify this novel as realistic fiction because the setting, events, and characteristics of the characters Ghost comes in contact with are very real. This novel applies to youth, more specifically teens or pre-teens, as it tells the story involving a conflict everyone faces, yet in a method that appeals to youth and a method that youth can fall in love with the book’s characters and apply the themes that are demonstrated in the book. This book reminds me of the film The Blindside, which follows the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the support of a caring woman and her family. Both stories are related in the sense that they follow a hero who has to turn the damage and anger they have experienced into motivation in to succeed in a sport and in the end, life with the support of a mentor. Both have related themes and messages and overall highlight necessary themes and lovable yet imperfect characters. In conclusion, I enjoyed reading the book and would rate it a solid four out of five stars.
Yo this book was so boring i dont know why i even picked this book off the self anyways. the first reason was my teacher Mrs.J created me take it cause we was running out of time. Anyways when i first was reading it, it was kinda amazing you know i wa all into until i found out that the dude was sorry at football. So i'll holla cause i only read a couple of pages so till next time HOLLA' ZEE
This is a realistic mystery for middle school students. It is easy enough for children to "get" in in terms of the genre, but complex enough for them to obtain to the end and have them say, "Huh? How did THAT happen? I missed it!" and then, gets them to REREAD it to search out where they missed the clues. This is the most stolen book in my classroom - a sure sign of its popularity. Will somebody PLEASE reissue this book?
Finally a book that has amazing suspense, horror, and mystery while at the same time dealing with teen problems (drugs,etc.). Rob MacGregor delivers a very well-written book that doesn't sink into the characters' heads, but simply narrates the story. There's not much to say but that it is extremely good. =)