Recommended age: 9-13

Ghost Boys

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jerome is a good boy who lives by the rules. He's home on time, he looks after his sister, he does his homework. He even hides the fact that he's bullied at school because he doesn't want his family to worry.

When Jerome makes a friend in the new boy, Carlos, things seem to be looking up. But Carlos has a gun, a toy gun which he wants Jerome to have.

But a white police officer sees Jerome, a black boy, with the gun, mistakes it for a real one and shoots him dead.

Jerome continues his story as a ghost, watching his family trying to cope with his death, meeting with the daughter of the police officer and finding other ghost boys.

Jerome begins to understand what really happened - not just to him, but to all of the ghost boys.

This is an amazing book. It's so simply written but it's so powerful and so terribly tragic. While suitable for children aged 9+, everyone should read this book.

Review date: February 2018
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes