2016 National Book Award Longlist, Young People's Literature

Jason Reynolds

Ghost Jason Reynolds
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers /
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1481450157


National Book Foundation: Who did you write this book for?
Jason Reynolds: I wrote Ghost for all the young people who feel like they're suffocating, who feel like they're gasping for breath, exhausted from running for their lives, and sometimes FROM their lives. It's for both the traumatized and the triumphant.


Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

About the Author

Jason Reynolds is the author of the award winning young adult novel, The Boy in the Black Suit, and the co-author ofAll American Boys, both of which he won Coretta Scott King honors for, as well as the critically acclaimed middle grade novels, As Brave As You, and Ghost, both released in 2016. 

Reynolds has been reviewed and profiled by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Kirkus ReviewsThe Horn BookSchool Library Journal, and a host of other media outlets. But what excites him more than anything is speaking to young people around the country, not only about the power of reading, but also about the importance of telling their own stories. 

He currently lives in Washington, DC.  


- jasonwritesbooks.com

- TWITTER: @JasonReynolds83


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