A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Patina, by New York Times best-selling author Jason Reynolds, is the sequel to Ghost, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. It tells the story of track star Patina, known as Patty, who struggles to maintain excellence in her sport while at the same time struggling with family issues at home. The story deals with adoption, race and class, grief at the loss of a parent, diabetes and dialysis, friendship, and fitting in at a new school. Parents should be prepared to talk about different types of families and support, coping with pressure, and the valuable lessons found in teamwork.
What's the story?
PATINA is the fastest girl on the Defenders track team. She doesn't like to lose -- ever -- and she works really hard to make sure she doesn't. The thing is, Patty has lost a lot of things already: Her father died, and her mother lost her legs to diabetes, so she and her sister have to live with her uncle and aunt because their mom can't care for them anymore. She also lost her old friends when she went to a new school. Losing on the track is not an option, but then the unthinkable happens: She comes in second place. And Coach decides she should be on a relay team as the anchor. Now, not only does she have to keep up the perfect Patty routine everywhere, she also has to run the hardest part of the relay and rely on someone else to help her win. Not cool. The pressure is intense and she's barely holding on. Can she finish strong, or will life leave her in the dust?
Is it any good?
Solid storytelling and compelling action combines with well-rounded and lovable characters to make Patina, the second book in Jason Reynolds' Track series, a winner. Readers will readily identify with Patty as she tries to juggle all the responsibilities of school, family, and sports and the worries and grief that keep her running. They will also recognize the internal pressure kids put on themselves to take on adult-level responsibilities and to always be "fine."
Parents and teachers will love how Reynolds incorporates solid conflict resolution strategies and uses the concept of a relay race as a model of teamwork on the track and in families.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Patina shows different types of families and their circle of caregivers. Patty lives with her uncle and his wife because her mom is sick. What makes a family? How do the caregivers in your life work together?
What does Patty learn about how to work with a team? Do you have examples of when working on a team worked well and when it didn't? What lessons did you take away from the experience?
Do you play a sport? How do your team, family, and fans react to wins and losses? How does that make you feel? How big is the pressure to compete well? Does it ever feel like it's too much?
- Author: Jason Reynolds
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
- Publication date: August 29, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 17
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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