Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys

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 r...

Details Ghost Boys

TitleGhost Boys
Release DateApr 17th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews Ghost Boys

  • Hannah Greendale
    Jewell Parker Rhodes tackles timely issues (racial bias, bullying, class differences with regard to education and upbringing, gun violence) and introduces young readers to important figures (Emmett Till, Tamir Rice) in this story of a twelve-year-old black boy who is shot and killed after police mistakenly assume his toy gun is a real weapon.Despite the significance of its subject matter, Ghost Boys is crippled by a frenetic writing style: He te...
  • Donalyn
    I finished this book while the National Anthem played on the Atlanta airport TVs for the Super Bowl. I burst into tears. This is a haunting and important book I'll be thinking about for a long time.
  • Angela
    "All children, except one, grow up."-Peter Pan"A shadow. Then, another. And another. Another and another. Hundreds, thousands of ghost boys standing, ever still, looking up, through the window into our souls.Do I have a soul still?'I don't understand?''These are your... our people.' 'Black boys,' Sarah whispers, then clamps her hand over her mouth... I turn from him and Sarah. I look down. Hundreds and hundreds of shadow boys. A heart-wrenching c...
  • Lauren
    An absolutely heart breaking but so so so important book! With beautiful vision and gut wrenching honesty, Rhodes pulls readers into the world seen through the eyes of a recently deceased 12-year-old named Jerome. With the ghost of Emmett Till as a kind of guide, Jerome starts to understand the depths of what it means to be black in America. As he sees his family weighed down in grief and follows the trial of the police officer who shot him, Jero...
  • Dianne
    In a world where we are inundated daily with terror and hate, we are taught to fear first, think later. This is the heartbreaking story of one young boy’s death when he is shot by a policeman and how his ghost will bear witness to the breadth of the devastation that follows. Jewell Parker Rhodes’ GHOST BOYS addresses a slice of the rampant racism that still exists in our “enlightened” society. Jerome will witness the devastation of his fa...
  • Amber
    Books like this make change. I highly recommend this one and hope it is in many middle school and high school classrooms when it is released this spring.
  • Amy
    This is the book I have been waiting for! I have been desperately searching for a middle grade book that would cover the same topics as The Hate U Give & Dear Martin but in a way that was more suitable for a younger audience. I tried to find it in The Stars Beneath Our Feet , but, that one was not it for me. This one was. This book is important. Relevant. Moving. Authentic. Hopeful. Searing. Gutting. A must-read.Jerome is shot by the police af...
  • Linda
    Jewell Parker Rhodes again uses her fictional skills to bring racial issues to us in a deeply touching story of a twelve-year-old black boy who is shot and killed by a police officer. As in “Towers Falling”, the themes of community, socio-economic disparities and diversity underlie the story. In the earliest words, we read, “How small I look. Laid out flat, my stomach touching ground. My right knee bent and my brand-new Nikes stained with b...
  • Elese
    Jewell Parker Rhodes is a genius at distilling challenging subjects for middle grade readers — from 9/11 to Katrina — and this story of ghost boys Jerome (with parallels to Tamir Rice) and Emmett (Till) is no exception. As a white mother of white boys, I have the incredible privilege of choosing when I want to spend time with the hard issues of police violence against black men and boys. This hit home more than ever while reading Ghost Boys w...
  • Denise
    This book is heartbreaking but is such an important book. It is one that I hope gets into the hands of as many kids as possible because as Rhodes states in the afterword, it is our youth that will be able to “dismantle personal and systemic racism.” I love the way Rhodes writes and this book is no exception. Told from the perspective of Jerome, a 12 year old boy killed by a police officer, it is a complex look at the current state of our worl...
  • Jazmen
    I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them expecting to be angry. I'm pre-angry before I even start them. Why? Because this is happening, still--today, and though the books are based on fictional characters--the story themselves are all too real.Jerome, was a kid--playing with a toy gun--when he was gunned down by a police officer. Mistaken for a "grown man," posing...
  • Jeweliana
    "Don't pity me," I say, sharp, frustrated by Sarah"Maybe I can help you? Help you both? Like Wendy helped Peter?""Is Peter white? He's white, isn't he?" I ask, insistent, furious." And this, folks, is how it's done. Jewell Parker Rhodes has hit us with a masterpiece that is one of the best Black Lives Matter novels to date. I knew the story of Emmet Till before reading this but Rhodes' writing gave me chills. You might not be expecting much from ...
  • Ms. Yingling
    ARC provided by publisher at ALATimely and sad. Made me wonder why toy guns are allowed to be produced and sold in the US.
  • Beth Parmer
    A must-read. A must-share. A must-discuss.
  • Dan
    Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is one the best middle grade novels I have ever read. With an invitation to the reader to bear witness and do better, this is a must read story.
  • Ezra
    Actual rating: 4.5GHOST BOYS is about how a 13yo Black boy had a toy gun, and a white police officer shot him. (The book mentions Tamir Rice, who died under these exact circumstances.) Being a ghost, Jerome meets Emmitt Till, and Sarah (the daughter of the police officer) and watches the trial of the police officer who shot him (Jerome). I really like this book. I appreciate books that deal with the reality of police brutality against Black peopl...
  • Erika
    I wondered if I would have a hard time reading about "ghosts," but it actually didn't bother me at all. I guess not having to suspend my beliefs (because in this realm, it's more loosely spirituality based, in my opinion) makes the difference. Jewell Parker Rhodes is a beautiful writer and Ghost Boys lived up to the hype. If I remember correctly, it's the first middle grade novel I've read that's had police brutality as its central theme. Her wri...
  • Traci
    If you have a goal to read just one book this year, make it GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes, published by Little, Brown and Company. I felt every emotion possible as I read this book. Sadness, anger, fear, hope, joy, it's all there. This is a #mustread middle grade book for every child, 10 years and older up to adults. And when you get to the end of the story, continue on and consider the questions, author Jewell Parker Rhodes poses. We humans...
  • Carrie Shaurette
    Everyone wishing for a younger version of books like The Hate U Give and All American Boys will be happy to see this. The decision to tell the story mostly from the ghost of a black boy who was shot and killed by the white police officer is a solid one, though I do wish we had more "alive" scenes to get to know Jerome better. The inclusion of Emmett Till's story also elevates this and the imagery of the bodies of all the black boys was particular...
  • Michele Knott
    I’m going to say what other readers ahead of me have said - this is an important book. And where it’s going to make a lot of impact is when it’s used as a read aloud. The conversations that can be had with peers in many communities will be powerful.
  • Kristen Beverly
    Another book with all the emotion! This one does exactly what it should - it doesn’t shame, but is only filled with compassion and understanding. So important in this day and age. Really powerful stuff here.
  • Jo Tsamaidis
    I thought this book was beautifully written, compelling and I couldn't put it down. The style almost felt like a stream of consciousness - appropriately "ghostly" imo.Sometimes a creative piece can bring us to a point of truth and empathy more effectively than a CNN news report and/ or a social studies class. Therefore I think this is an important read for all students ( perhaps a mature fifth grader/middle school student). It should be a support...
  • Jillian Heise
    Ghost Boys is phenomenal. A powerful, timely, necessary book, and one written for our middle grades kids who need to hear these stories also. A must-read of 2018 for all educators, and a must-purchase for 4th grade and up classroom and school libraries.
  • Pamela
    A story of boys killed because of racism, past and present. A plea to bear witness and work to improve our world, because “only the living can make the world better.”
  • Brittany
    This book needs to be read by everyone. Young or old. This book will change lives. It needs to. I am so happy I picked this up. Just wow.
  • Emily
    Read this in one intense sitting. Poetic and heartbreaking. Black lives matter and cops *need* to be held accountable.
  • Cassie Thomas
    A necessary read for 5th and up. Following Jerome tell his story during his afterlife is eye opening. There are several lessons to be learned during this wonderful story.
  • Charlotte
    Jewell Parker Rhodes puts love into stories of heartbreak better than any other author I know.
  • Sara Lang
    I would recommend for grades 7+“ My hope is that parents and teachers will read Ghost Boys with their children and students, and discuss racial prejudices intentions that still haunt America. Through discussion, awareness, and societal and civic action, I hope our youth will be able to dismantle personal and systematic racism.”