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Booklist Reviews

*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. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

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 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. The American Booksellers Association’s 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, his many books include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black SuitAll American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (GhostPatinaSunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

Vanessa Brantley Newton is a self-taught artist and has attended both FIT and SVA of New York, where she studied fashion and children’s illustration. Vanessa is the illustrator of Ruby’s New Home, A Team Stays Together!, and Justin and the Bully—all by Tony and Lauren Dungy—as well as Presenting…Tallulah by Tori Spelling. She hopes that when people look at her work, it will make them feel happy in some way, or even reclaim a bit of their childhood. - (Simon and Schuster)


"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 thegold really means"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Confident that he can lead his track team to victory at the championships, co-captain Lu encounters unexpected obstacles in his personal life before realizing that he must leave his ego on the sidelines in order to finally connect with his teammates. By the Newbery Honor-winning author of Long Way Down. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

Track star Lu is confident that he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it turns out to be more difficult than he thought when there are suddenly hurdles in Lu's way. - (Baker & Taylor)

Lu must learn to leave his ego on the sidelines if he wants to finally connect with others in the climax to the New York Times bestselling and award-winning Track series from Jason Reynolds.

Lu was born to be cocaptain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that’s got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger, plus the talent to back it up, and with all that—not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings—no one’s gonna outshine him.

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.

Expect the unexpected in this final event in Jason Reynold’s award-winning and bestselling Track series. - (Simon and Schuster)

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