I picked this up over October break for one of my students who read Ghost during the first grading period and wanted to continue the series. She left the book in my classroom and had yet to ask for it (I’m waiting for her to tell me that she lost it – taking responsibility), so I thought I’d go ahead and read it.
If you haven’t read Ghost yet, read it first. Patina picks up right where Ghost left off. And it makes so much sense.
Here’s the premise of Patina (from Amazon):
A newbie to the track team, Patina must learn to rely on her teammates as she tries to outrun her personal demons in this follow-up to the National Book Award finalist Ghost by New York Times bestselling 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.
Patina, or Patty, runs like a flash. She runs for many reasons—to escape the taunts from the kids at the fancy-schmancy new school she’s been sent to since she and her little sister had to stop living with their mom. She runs from the reason WHY she’s not able to live with her “real” mom any more: her mom has The Sugar, and Patty is terrified that the disease that took her mom’s legs will one day take her away forever. So Patty’s also running for her mom, who can’t. But can you ever really run away from any of this? As the stress builds up, it’s building up a pretty bad attitude as well. Coach won’t tolerate bad attitude. No day, no way. And now he wants Patty to run relay…where you have to depend on other people? How’s she going to do THAT?
#bookaday Patina (Track #2) by Jason Reynolds. #StickyNoteReviews: I usually don't like when narrators change between books in a series, but I was so invested in Patty's story that I didn't notice. Patina picks up where Ghost left off – with Ghost's race, and it made so much sense, given what happens, that it be narrated by someone else. Patty's fish-out-of-water experience at school makes her totally relatable, as do the challenges she faces. I loved how Patty had the opportunity to bond with her aunt (her primary caregiver) over experience at school. One thing I also appreciate about this story and this series is how the experiences the characters have don't revolve around their blackness. But it's there. And it's acknowledged. Reynolds is a master.