Ghost Boys by: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys by: Jewell Parker RhodesGhost Boys Buy the BookGoodreads

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.

“Only the living can make the world better.”

A 12 year-old-boy is shot in the park by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real one. The boy is named Jerome and he is black. Now in the after-life, Jerome sees that devastation and hatred his death has caused his community. It is in this realm that he meets the ghost of another victim, another black boy who died years before in a different yet very similar circumstance, it is the ghost of Emmett Till.

Told in a voice that is haunting, yet beautiful, and so relevant to what our nation is facing today, Parker Rhodes weaves fact and fiction into a novel that should be read in every middle grade history class. With honesty and conviction, Jerome and the other “ghost boys” remind us how important it is to understand one another, to accept one another, to love one another and to bear witness. “Ghost Boys” is powerful in prose, and so important at this time. I hope parents will read this book with their children.


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