I had been lucky to attend conferences around launch time for Jason Reynolds’ previous Track books so I never had to wait like the rest of the world to read them when they were published. So when I was in a bookstore this weekend (who knew?!) I couldn’t pass up purchasing Lu, the fourth and final book in his middle grade Track series. And of course because it was chilly and rainy today, I thought what better time than right now to devour it?
Then I regretted it. Why? Because it’s the last one.
What was I thinking? Plenty of us avid readers have felt sadness in the last book of a beloved series and this one was no different. Reynolds is the GOAT, period. Whoever designed the covers needs a raise. Reynolds’ ability to create deep characters with authentic middle grade voices has been spotlighted in this series and shines again with Lu, another track star under Coach’s tutelage who is helping his father right his wrongs while hopefully looking toward a future with a baby sister when his mother should have never even been able to have him. Rich with inspiration and motivation, it’s the power of our human experience through Lu whose Albinism hasn’t changed his perspective much, in fact his newest job as big brother has allowed him to grow as he passes through the awkwardness of youth.
This book is all that’s right with middle grade literature and the superstar that is Jason Reynolds. I’ve already placed an order for an additional four for our high school library because I will push the complete series like candy on Halloween (away from me and out into the world to be enjoyed by others) so it won’t be goodbye, rather “see ya later”.