Ghost Boys

Ghost Boys

Book - 2018 | First edition
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"After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
Branch Call Number: FICTION RHO
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780316262286


From Library Staff

After 12-year-old Jerome is shot and killed by police, his ghost learns of the other ghost boys (including Emmett Till) left to roam until the racist violence comes to an end. The one person who can see Jerome? The daughter of the police officer who shot him.

From the critics

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IndyPL_DeborahM Jan 31, 2019

This book provides a great realistic take on the perspective of a black youth of whom is a victim of racial bias. You would want to read the story again. For ages 10 and up.

MsShannon Jan 24, 2019

Black lives matter come to light in this novel from the point of the main character in this novel. Before he was killed by a police office and after. This makes for an interesting take on what it actually feels like for the victim. An intense read that will resonate with you after you finish it.

Jan 16, 2019

Racial bias, unintentional or not, within a police force is a serious issue, as well as a complex one. This was a well-done book that is appropriate for 6th/7th graders, depending upon your/their tolerance for violence. It's not overly graphic, but it could be disturbing for children who have had no exposure to the fact that children their age are victims of violence at the hands of adults & even police officers. (Not to say that they shouldn't read it) It's also a good book to start having some harder conversations with white children as to the history of our country as it relates to how blacks, especially young black boys, have been treated.

Jerome is a good kid living in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. He is shot by a police officer who thought the gun in his hand was real, rather than the toy that it was. The story looks at how this event impacts not only Jerome's family, as he watches over them as a ghost, but the officer's family as well. Jerome also learns he's not alone, as he's joined by the ghost of Emmett Till, a non-fictional boy Jerome's age, who was killed in Mississippi in 1955. It's a moving story and very well done. Highly recommended.

Nov 07, 2018

Taking me less than 24-hours to finish, 'Ghost Boys' is an easy read and was immediately a favorite. Rhodes interpretation of this fictional narrative of a Black teenage boy shot by a White cop is realistic, descriptive, and heart-provoking, and will leave readers of all ages asking themselves questions about current race relations and reactions.

Sep 25, 2018

Overall, while it took me a while to finish the book, I think it’s a great story for young readers to read and even understand what’s going on in the world today. I think the story is handled well and that the author doesn’t shy away from talking about grief, but also including how different cultures honor the dead. I think Jerome, being a young boy, gives the perspective of someone different as compared to teenagers or parents like in the other books of this nature. The story is importance, and I think the story is handled well. It’s emotional and holds historical importance. I can understand why someone might find it heavy-handed in the topic, and while I agree to a small extent, I think the author finds a balance.

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JCLHebahA Jul 02, 2018

This is a book that I'm glad exists... and hate that it has to. This timely middle-grade story combines the threads of a twelve-year-old boy shot and killed by police who mistake his toy gun for the real deal with that of Emmett Till and countless other "ghost boys" who died as a result of prejudice and racism. It's a story of bearing witness to these injustices, handled at an age-appropriate level, which is to say, it doesn't flinch from its subject matter but also handles it lightly enough to encourage conversation and empathy.

Jun 01, 2018

Loved it. Excellent book and should be read and talked about!

PimaLib_TeneciaP May 10, 2018

I read this heart-wrenching, powerful, and gripping book in one day! Jerome, a 12 year old Black boy, is shot and killed by a white police officer who mistakes the toy gun he is holding for a real one. As a ghost, Jerome sees what happens to his family, the officer's family, and the community. He meets another ghost who was senselessly murdered, Emmett Till. Till shows Jerome the hundreds of other "ghost boys" who were also murdered and are now roaming their communities.

This is a tough book to read but the author does a great job of tackling timely issues (racial bias, bullying, gun violence) in a way that young readers will understand and enjoy. This is also a great book for parents to read first then share with their children. It can be a useful tool when having conversations about these types of current social issues.


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