Article Title

Ghost Boys


Karen Abbott


Outstanding, Intermediate, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Rcism, Racism, Racial Profiling, Death, Injustice, Making A Difference, Testifying, Remembering

Document Type

Book Review


Jerome, a twelve-year-old black child, is bullied at school, loved at home, and is a good kid. He makes his very first friend and is shot in the back by a white policeman on the very same day. Jerome lives in the slums and his family is close-knit and struggling to scrape up a living. The story alternates between his last day alive and his new experiences and feelings now that he is dead. His life and the events leading to the shooting are revealed a piece at a time. He witnesses the cop's trial and in court realizes that the policeman's daughter, Sarah, can see and hear him. She is also twelve and also in anguish over her family's situation. Another ghost has also begun to appear to them both: a black child killed in Mississippi in 1955, Emmett Till. Emmett helps Jerome release his pain and Jerome helps Sarah reconnect with her father and find a voice to challenge racism. Jerome becomes one of the ghost boys whose purpose it is to keep the memory of racial injustice alive until racism itself is dead.