Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Description (from Goodreads)
Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race — and wins — the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?
Castle Crenshaw tries to outrun his own demons messes up over and over again but Coach is willing to give him a helping hand on and off the track. Unlikely teammates become friends in this deeply moving story. Jason Reynolds is a master of the young voice. There are many important messages in this novel without the preachy-tone and highly recommended for kids 9+. Book 2 in the series (Patina) is available and it’s on my list of books to read in 2018.