"...My dad! My dad was actually shooting...at...US! His wife
and his boy! I didn't look to see where he hit, mainly because I was
scared it was gonna be me. Or Ma..."
Three years before his narrative begins Castle Crenshaw also
known as Ghost, protagonist of Jason Reynolds' Ghost, was roused out
of slumber by his frantic mother. As she pulled him down the hall he
saw his staggering drunk father holding a gun.
Drunken Dad is in jail now and Castle and his mother struggle to
get by. His mom works in a nursing home kitchen (most of their
suppers are their leftovers) and takes college classes on line,
determined to become a nurse. Castle gets in a lot of trouble. When
peers tease him about stuff like his clothes he reacts with anger.
His altercations have resulted in a lot of detentions and suspensions.
One day he sees a running club practicing and stops to watch.
He sees one runner who seems too full of himself and wants to show him
up. The reluctant coach gives him one shot. He runs against him and
starts to walk away.
The next minute the coach is coming up behind him, inviting him
to be on the team. At first he isn't interested. Basketball is his
game. But he signs on. As he gets to know his teammates and develop
a sense of real belonging, staying on becomes very important.
Staying on the team, however, is contingent on his not getting
into trouble. This has never been his strong point.
All kid and adult readers who enjoy a story about an underdog
struggling to succeed against strong odds will find Ghost to be a must
Those of us who enjoy the book are really in luck. It's billed
as the first volume in a series about the team.
On a personal note, Orono United Methodist Church had a visit from the
bishop. I guess that doesn't happen all that often. People were
freaked out because they didn't know how to address him and were
afraid of making a mistake. Seriously. That was the big topic before
adult Sunday school class. Then when he was waiting to shake hands
after the service people were waiting for someone else to take the
risk. Good thing I was there. I broke the ice by telling him we had
a lunch fit for a bishop downstairs and inviting him to join us. You
can't go wrong with food.
A great big shout goes out to the bishop and all who worked hard to
get ready for his visit--especially all who worked on the yummy lunch.
Sent from my iPod