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, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, African American

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.
  • 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...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Ghost Boys will definitely appeal to fans of The Lovely Bones in its strangely beautiful and sad story of a young boy murdered and trying to understand why, but its infusion of deeper themes including systematic racism and gun violence gives it its own original footing. All too often we look at these types of killings as mere statistics, but young Jerome, whose life was cut short in a tragic misunderstanding, gives a human face to the headlines a...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Avis
    What does it matter if Officer Moore is sorry? If his wife is sorry? If the whole world is sorry?it's been a long time since i have seen such a heavy subject handled so poorly.ghost boys tells the story of jerome, a 12 year old boy killed by a police officer who mistook his toy gun for a real one. stuck as a ghost, jerome is forced to watch his loved ones suffer as they attempt to get justice for his death.the good:- the idea behind this book. th...
  • The Reading Countess
    Skinny book, big ideas.Jewell Parker Rhodes does it again. Ninth Ward. Towers Falling. Bayou Magic. And now Ghost Boys. She has an uncanny sense of when to float books out into the world. Lyrically written, as we have come to expect from her, this is more than a tale of injustice; it's a unique mix of both historical AND realistic fiction. Sadly, the lines between what has happened in the past are all too close to the present ones. This is an imp...
  • Miss Nuding C8B
    A MUST READ. I've never read a book that has so smoothly and effectively utilized POV to characterize a protagonist and supplementary characters. This book shows readers at every age that it is their duty to stand by what they believe in and use their lives to promote positive change. Very important.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Emily
    A fast middle grade read that packs an emotional wallop.Twelve year old Jerome is shot and killed while playing outside his apartment building by a white police officer. Following his death, Jerome watches his funeral, attends the hearing of the officer who shot him, and discovers that although his family can't see or hear him, the 12 year old daughter (Sarah) of the police officer who shot him can. Jerome also encounters and is both taught and c...
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    For Jerome Rogers, living in his low-income Chicago neighborhood can be dangerous, but so can going to middle school. There, Jerome is the target of three bullies, Eddie, Snap, and Mike, who enjoy doing things to him like dumping out his backpack, hitting him in the head, or pulling down his pants. Jerome has no friends, and eats his lunch in a bathroom, locker room or supply closet - hiding out alone.That is, until Carlos arrives. Carlos, a Mexi...
  • 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 & necessary look at the current state...
  • 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...
  • Alicia
    Several new Black Lives Matter fictional stories have used the magical realism element of the dead to tell their story as a whole or partially (I Am Alfonso Jones, Long Way Down, and Ghost Boys). What makes me most proud of these stories is the writing that elicits a stark emotional response for the characters and questions the world we live in. Rhodes uses the twelve year old Jerome, dead after a white police officer mistakes his toy gun for a r...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Scott Fillner
    Must Read! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This Book has the ability to start discussions, lead to new learning, and explore feelings. A book that has the ability to be a catalyst for change. A book that has the ability to interrupt a cycle of fear and lack of understanding understanding.
  • Emily Rietz
    This is a masterful middle-grade look at the Ghost Boys...young Black men victimized by police brutality, implicit bias, and racism. The author’s note is not to be missed.
  • Rachel Harder
    Holy buckets. So powerful.
  • 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.
  • Abby Johnson
    Can a review just be emojis? Because if so: 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭(More will be coming on my blog. Read this book.)
  • Dan
    Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes invites the reader to bear witness and do better. It's a must read middle grade story.
  • Leigh Collazo
    Hundreds more reviews like this one at Mrs. ReaderPants.REVIEW: Like Towers Falling, which is by the same author, Ghost Boys is an important read and perfect for middle schoolers. The writing style is simple and covers lots of serious topics like racism, prejudice, police brutality, bullying, gun violence, gangs, and poverty. As with Towers Falling, I liked that it is written on a middle school level, but once again, I felt the writing lacked pow...
  • Mrs. Krajewski
    Jerome is a 12-year-old boy who is shot and killed by a white police officer in Chicago. The officer mistakenly believed he had a gun, when really it was a toy gun. Jerome immediately becomes a ghost who has to watch his family grieve. He also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer who killed him. Sarah can see him, and she ends up needing Jerome as she grieves for the father she doesn’t understand anymore. Jerome sees that her family ...
  • Leonard Kim
    3.5 stars. Susan Cooper’s Ghost Hawk never stood a chance, and The Hate U Give fell short on some fundamentals, but maybe this one will stick. A Christmas Carol is still beloved even as the social problem it specifically addressed evolves. This book made me think of that, as well as Cooper’s and Thomas’ book, but I am not completely certain that, as Ghost Boys’ topicality evolves, it will have staying power. Rhodes isn’t Dickens. So I a...