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Mystical Speed
By Hubert Guscott
2013
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 4 stars
 
After the 2024 Olympics, when Jamaicans claimed gold, silver, and bronze medals, questions about this accomplishment arose.
 
“Why are Jamaicans so fast?  How did they become the dominant force in sprinting?  Everyone wanted to know.
Is it the food?
Is it the water?
Is it Voodoo?
Is it drugs?”
 
Five New York teen track athletes, Leroy, Trini, Joe, Long-Pants, and White-Shoes, decide to find out by going to Jamaica.
 
From this premise, the author takes readers to Jamaica with the boys to discover these secrets.  With well-done characterizations, the boys, their families, and those they meet in Jamaica come alive for readers.  Dialogue is real, moving the plot along at an excellent pace; sharing Jamaican folklore intermingled with athletic drills until returning home to a mystical conclusion.