Like Ghost, Patina follows the challenges of a track athlete. Different person, different problems—another opportunity to see the way the team works together, how they tease each other but also support each other, and how training is sometimes the one thing that can give a kid who needs it focus and drive. Life might be falling to pieces outside of the track, but that one thing can save a kid.
What’s nice about this series from Jason Reynolds is that their stories ring so true. Spend a few days with a new kid or one who’s living with their grandma or helping take care of siblings while Mom is in the hospital or jail, and Patina’s challenges will seem completely familiar. Even kids who don’t seem to be struggling from the outside carry all kinds of burdens.
It’s nice to see stories about kids we can all recognize, kids who have a hard time finding a place to sit at lunch but who carry a dream and let it lift them beyond their burdens.
Patina (Track: Book 2) by Jason Reynolds