The students in 213 are enthusiastic about reading “Ghost Boys,” our second book by Jewell Parker Rhodes. The book gives a heart-wrenching, kids-eye-view of violence and racism, dating back to the murder of Emmet Till. It helps students explore the ideas of privilege and implicit bias, while encouraging discussion related to the questions of whether or not we really have come far when dealing with race relations.

Preliminary book reviews by the students. . .

  • “I like how this book relates to real lives and experiences.”
  • “I love the relationship between Jerome and his grandma.”
  • “I like how in “Ghost Boys” it talks about the reality of race and the importance of being aware.”
  • “I like how it tackles racism head on and refers to actual events from the past.”
  • “I like how it talks about grandma’s spirituality and how close she still feels to Jerome.”
  • “I like the specific details about how rough Jerome’s life is because of bullying.”
  • “The book tells more people about racism and tells the world that racism still exists and if we don’t start doing more about it then it is going to get worse.”
  • “I like how the author started the book with the main event of what happened. So many kids have this in their life experience like bullying and violence and they try to hide from it. This puts it out there and shows how Jerome tries to help the new kid.”
  • “It is sad but a really good book and it makes me think of the world right now and how African Americans are dying by police officers and people need to get justice.”
  • “I think this book is perfect because it is one of the most saddest stories I’ve ever read and I like how it tells the story when Jerome is alive and dead – it is like a transition between times.”
  • “I like it because it reminds you to be safe and to listen to your parents because bad stuff can happen to you anytime even when you are doing the right thing.”
  • “I like that it has plot twists and it teaches you about life and reminds you that life is short and you have to enjoy the time while you have it.”