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Publisher's Summary

A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better.

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 toward recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions.

Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and sociopolitical layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.

©2018 Jewell Parker Rhodes (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rhodes captures the all-too-real pain of racial injustice and provides an important window for readers who are just beginning to explore the ideas of privilege and implicit bias." (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about Ghost Boys

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  • Overall
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Fantastic

I chose this book to read to my 5th grade class. They absolutely loved it and connected with it!!! They kept wanting to know more and lore because it triggered their curiosity.

4 people found this helpful

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it is a must-read for adults and children.

the narrator with really good. he brought the character to life. I enjoy listening to him portray the different characters and their different demeanors.

4 people found this helpful

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Dead but not gone....

As a black mother, and educator in the Deep South, this book really hit the mark. I pray with tears in my eyes often begging The Good Lord to watch over my own children and my students. This is our story, and it is time for a change. This book can help young white people see what needs to be changed, and how they can help.

3 people found this helpful

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it's good and true

it was so good,it gives a lot if good points in the story.....its all so true and depressing but so good.....enjoy and learn from this story please!

2 people found this helpful

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This was a sad tale and hard for me to read.

Even though the story was sad, it was well told and necessary in today's times.

5 people found this helpful

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Ghost Boys was AWESOME

I listened to this book with my class. The narrator did a fabulous job. My classroom is predominantly boys, they were all upset when it ended. They wanted it to keep going. Jewel Parker Rhodes wrote a great book. It is entertaining and enlightening. My students learned a lot about civil rights.

4 people found this helpful

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Propaganda

Lies and false equivalencies litter this book designed to indoctrinate kids with resentment and guilt.

1 person found this helpful

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Garbage.

This book compares a law fictional retailing of a police action with the story of Emmitt Till.
Unfortunately, the author portrays the police action as a purposeful murder and distorts the actual events to something even more tragic than the nonfiction incident.
Law enforcement sometimes make poor judgments. The incident referenced in this book is a prime example. It's sad that poor judgment can be perverted into a overt act of aggression and murder.
There simply is no comparison between the two actual events referenced in this book. Unfortunately, the children that read this book will think a likeness between the two stories exist.

1 person found this helpful

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This is not a Black Boy's story

Until the lion learns how to write every story will glorify the hunter. I struggle with the empathy shown to the officer's daughter by the victim. I shuttered when Jerome looked to the officer's daughter for assistance in justice. Stories about Black bodies do not need another white savior!

2 people found this helpful

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Great insight

This book gives great insight into the stories of the suffering and pain of African American families. It opens your eyes to the reality that no matter how long ago some stories were...the same things are still going on.