On My Bookshelf: Patina by Jason Reynolds

May 07, 2018

In Patina, the second installment in Jason Reynold's Track series, Patty faces challenges at home and running track is her escape. Her mother suffers from diabetes so Patty and her younger sister live with their aunt and uncle, who are an interracial race couple. Patty is also struggling to make friends at her new school where many of the students are well off. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Patina, or Patty, runs like a flash. She runs for many reasons—to escape the taunts from the kids at the fancy-schmancy new school she’s been sent to since she and her little sister had to stop living with their mom. She runs from the reason WHY she’s not able to live with her “real” mom any more: her mom has The Sugar, and Patty is terrified that the disease that took her mom’s legs will one day take her away forever. So Patty’s also running for her mom, who can’t. But can you ever really run away from any of this? As the stress builds up, it’s building up a pretty bad attitude as well. Coach won’t tolerate bad attitude. No day, no way. And now he wants Patty to run relay…where you have to depend on other people? How’s she going to do THAT?
In Patina, the second installment in Jason Reynold's Track series, Patty faces challenges at home and running track is her escape. Her mother suffers from diabetes so Patty and her younger sister live with their aunt and uncle, who are an interracial race couple. Patty is also struggling to make friends at her new school where many of the students are well off. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Why I liked it: Patina is the second installment in Jason Reynold's Track series. I loved the first one, Ghost, and was thrilled that Patina was just as good. Patina, who goes by Patty, is on the same track team as Castle, known as Ghost. Patina picks up where Ghost left off, but the focus is now on Patty and her life so Ghost becomes a minor character. Like Ghost, Patty faces challenges at home and running track is her escape. Her mother suffers from diabetes so Patty and her younger sister live with their aunt and uncle, who are an interracial race couple. Patty is also struggling to make friends at her new school where many of the students are well off. I loved Patty's fierce devotion to her family and her refusal to be anyone but herself.

Classroom application: This series, appropriate for middle school and up, is definitely one to recommend to your reluctant readers, especially female students who may be struggling with their confidence as Patty would serve as a strong role model. The novel could also be a springboard into discussions about class and race as Patty struggles with judgement about having a white "mother" and not relating to the wealthier students at her school.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Patina for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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