Author: Reynolds, Jason
Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu's way--literally and not-so-literally--and Lu needs to figure out, fast, what winning the gold really means.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 198036
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/18)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/18)
Booklist (+) (10/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
The Hornbook (00/11/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 Gr 5-8–Following on the heels of Ghost, Patina, and Sunny comes the last leg of Reynolds's middle grade quartet. Readers meet the co-captain of the Defenders, a lightning-quick athlete with bravado to spare. Lu was born with albinism and must take extra care to protect his skin and eyes. Every morning, he puts in his contacts, applies his sunscreen, and psychs himself up by reciting his mantra: "I am the man. The guy. The kid. The one. The only. The Lu. Lucky Lu. Lookie Lu. Lu the Lightning Bolt." Lu learns that he's about to become a big brother, and comes up against some literal and figurative hurdles on and off the track as he tries to lead his team to victory. His self-possession serves him in good stead as he confronts his father and convinces him to right a long overdue but not forgotten wrong. Lu realizes that he doesn't need gold chains and diamond earrings to be flashy, and, regardless of the odds or the competition, that he has what it takes to stand up and truly be "the man, the guy." Reynolds carefully delineates his characters' personalities and family dynamics to reflect where these kids are coming from before seeing them on the track or part of a team. He keeps the pace lively and strikes a perfect balance of sports action, middle school trash-talking, and slice-of-life modern family concerns. This book stands alone, but fans of the series will enjoy Lu's interactions with teammates introduced in earlier titles. Thanks to their coach, they have become conditioned athletes, but in coming together and working as a team they have developed the hearts of champions. VERDICT Reynolds sprints to the finish of this splendid sports series. Pure gold.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/01/2018 *Starred Review* Lu is the man, the kid, the guy. The one and only. Not only was he a miracle baby but he is albino. He’s special down to his gold chains and diamond earrings, but he feels a little less once-in-a-lifetime when his parents tell him they’re pregnant again. On top of this sobering news, he’s leading the Defenders alongside a cocaptain who isn’t pleased about sharing the title; and he’s training for the 110-meter hurdles, choking at every leap. As the championship approaches, can he prove his uniqueness one final time? As with the prior titles, the final installment in the four-book Track series is uplifting and moving, full of athletic energy and eye-level insight into the inner-city middle-school track-team experience. While it must be said that Lu has the least distinct voice of the four narrators—and given that Reynolds has proven himself to be an absolute master of voice, that is disappointing—this story is not a letdown. Virtually every subplot is a moving moral lesson on integrity, humility, or reconciliation, and Reynolds wraps up his powerful series with a surprising ending, all while scattering rewarding details about Ghost, Patina, and Sunny to let the reader truly revel in this multidimensional world as it comes to a close. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.