Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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

Twelve-year-old Jerome doesn’t get into trouble. He goes to school. He does his homework. He takes care of his little sister.Then Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat.


As a ghost, watching his family trying to cope with his death, Jerome begins to notice other ghost boys.Each boy has a story and they all have something in common…Bit by bit, Jerome begins to understand what really happened – not just to him, but to all of the ghost boys.

A poignant and gripping story about how children and families face the complexities of race in today’s world.

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7 thoughts on “Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

  1. I chose Ghost Boys because I like reading about danger and a bit of drama. I would most likely give this book a 8/10 because at some points it got a little confusing but throughout this story it was an amazingly creative and I really enjoyed it!The story is about a boy called Jerome and he was killed by a police officer who thought that he was carrying a real gun, which actually turned out to be a fake gun with no bullets. Jerome also has a sister who has a crush on Jerome’s friend. His sister has a bit of attitude towards Jerome but still she loves him.My personal favourite part of the story was when Jerome got shot by the police officer who mistook his gun for a real one as it created a bit of drama and tension to the scene.I recommend this to others who like tension, drama and danger.

  2. Tea – 8p
    I read this book last week and I was blown away with how this book can connect with the reader so well. Unfortunately this book is based on reality . Jerome was a great student , intelligent but his end was a surplus amount more brutal than anyone perhaps with less success then him. This really puts in perspective the problem of racial prejudice and its sad reality. Furthermore , its shocking to see that even dead , Jerome is still aware of reality and the book was able to give me a sense of restfulness but mixed emotions too when Sara (the police officers daughter) forms a significant friendship with Jerome . Would 100% recommend although the book can be emotional , violent and has a very strong plot so take that into consideration before reading .

  3. I thought the book was very enjoyable and dark. Which isn’t too bad because I love horror/thriller because the thriller genre makes the book impossible to put down.
    It was a very easy read which I thought was quite bad because I got through it too quickly and I think the author could of added more to the book

  4. Emily-8P

    This wonderful book made me understand what difficulties the black people had to go through to get this high up in civilisation. This boy who was shot by accident like so many others by an accident but we all know the police were meant to do it. This amazing and realistic book made tears run down my face as I was astonished at how some people in our world are treated just because they are slightly different. They are similar, they think the same way and act the same way as every ordinary person on our planet. To think of how many young and old black people died because they were different should not be so high a number!

    This book is very interesting and teaches you what the world has been like to get to where we are, and how many people suffered to get us a better future,

  5. Joshua – 8P

    Jerome behaves himself, does his homework comes into school on time and doesn’t get into trouble. Despite this Jerome is shot by a white police officer while playing with his new toy. Dead, Jerome can still spectate reality. The daughter of the officer who shot him, Sara is the only person that can see him who is alive. They form a volatile friendship. That’s when Jerome starts noticing other ghost boys.

    The book is about racial prejudice, and justice in the face of bigotry, it is complex with no simple answer to the problems it portrays. The main themes are (standing up and speaking out) social justice, friendship and history. Ghost boys contains death, weapons and (denounced) racism so for more sensitive readers this may be frightening and unsuitable. I would recommend an 11+ age rating on this novel.

  6. This was a wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, making me feel both sad and joyful all the way through. While reading this amazing story, I felt like it really captured the reader’s feelings using a range of techniques to put us into the main character ‘s shoes, giving us a better understanding of how he feels. I thought it made the book more interesting to give only one person the power to see Jerome (the main character) when he was a ghost. This gives the reader a slight feeling of suspense to see whether they would actually help Jerome or not since they’re the only one who can interact with him. The best part of the book would definitely have to be the part where the bullies feel sorry for Jerome’s family and stop bullying them, this made me feel like the world is finally changing for Jerome and I feel much happier for him and his family as they finally learn how to live their lives happily. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery stories and adventure books as this would be perfect for them.

  7. This is a fantastic book which I would highly recommend to people who enjoy a little bit of horror and surprise in their reads. It captures the spirits of two different perspectives in someone’s life. So overall I would rate this fantastic book 5 stars. As the name probably suggests it really has got that element of surprise, and I shall definitely put this in my top 5 reads!

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