Saturday, March 2, 2019

GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes. New York:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 224p. ISBN: 978-0316262286 hc. $16.99   Gr. 4-8   JUV

12 year-old Jerome has just been shot in the back by a white Chicago police officer who thought the black youth was carrying a real gun, rather than plastic one.  How can he be dead when he's still here with his family?  He soon realizes he's a ghost - and not the only one.  There's a whole army of ghost boys, wrongfully killed because of their skin color - including the ghost of Emmett Till, killed in 1955 for supposedly whistling at a white woman in the segregated state of Mississippi.  Emmett tells his side of the story and asks Jerome to join him in the mission to heal race relations, starting with his own family and that of the police officer who shot him.  His sister, grandmother, and parents can't see or hear him, but Sarah, the police officer's daughter can. Readers also learn Jerome's story, how he and his new friend Carlo were bullied at school, and the events leading up to the fatal shooting.  The book highlights racial profiling and provides updates to the Emmett Till murder, along with questions for group discussion.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

No comments:

Post a Comment