Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Nobody needed to tell Castle Crenshaw that he could run. He walked up and pretty much smoked one of the newbie sprinters on the Defenders track team without anyone even telling him he could try out. They call him, "Ghost." Sound like the beginning of a sports legend?
More like it's the shiny parts of Castle's life. There's also the part where he and his mom have hospital cafeteria food for dinner every night because she gets to take it home for free. And the fact that Brendon Simmons, seventh grade bully, seems to have an unending supply of things to make fun of Ghost about: his neighborhood, the fact that Ghost's dad is in jail.
But all of those things might be exactly the fuel that Ghost needs to light up the track. Every legend has to start somewhere and Ghost is where Castle's begins.
This is the first book in a new series from Jason Reynolds who is one of TATAL's favorite authors. One of the reason we like him so much is that he know that just because a person is in seventh grade doesn't mean they haven't had to deal with hard things that would be difficult for a grownup to handle. But being in seventh grade also means that your comebacks better be set at 100%.
Get your copy of Ghost and run a few laps with Castle Crenshaw. You'll be very happy you did.