Jewell Parker Rhodes is an amazing writer and the praise she’s getting for this book is well deserved! Her words are concise and gorgeously presented in this middle reader novel about Black Lives Matter. Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer when the latter mistakes his toy gun for a real one. As a ghost, Jerome seeks to understand injustice with Emmett Till at his side. An important book for every home and classroom. Recommended By Kim T., Powells.com
Ghost Boys is an amazing book! For a story based on a violent act, the author’s message of peace and understanding for others is very powerful. It is beautifully written and very much needed in our world today. Rhodes delivers an emotionally moving book that everyone should read. Recommended By Jennifer H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.
Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better.
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
"An excellent novel that delves into the timely topic of racism... with the question of whether or not we really have come far when dealing with race relations." School Library Connection (Starred Review)
"A timely, challenging book that's worthy of a read, further discussion, and action." Kirkus Reviews
"Rhodes captures the all-too-real pain of racial injustice and provides an important window for readers who are just beginning to explore the ideas of privilege and implicit bias." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
About the Author
Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of Ninth Ward, a Coretta Scott King honor book, Sugar, winner of the Jane Adams Peace Association book award, Bayou Magic, and Towers Falling. She has also written many award-winning books for adults.