Wow. Just wow. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is easily one of the most powerful and truthful novels that I have ever read. It takes on a topic that many are too afraid to truly talk about and it challenges the status quo. We cannot remain silent for the wrongs in this country, and Jewell Parker Rhodes takes the first step. With her novel, Ghost Boys, Jewel Parker Rhodes reminds her readers that all lives matter.

 

Ghost Boys tells the story of Jerome. When Jerome was twelve years old, he was wrongly shot by a white police officer. You see, Jerome was doing nothing wrong. He was just outside playing with a toy gun in his Chicago neighborhood. As Jerome was playing, two white officers drove by and saw Jerome. They saw him has a hulking, black man. They saw him as a threat to their lives and to their community. They didn't see an innocent child. Because of their inability to gain clarity on what they truly saw, the officers shot and killed twelve-year-old Jerome. He died. Jerome was just one of many.

 

I devoured this book. I devoured the words and the message. I devoured Jewell Parker Rhode's beautiful words on every page. Her words were the truth, and her words should change the world.

 

Ghost Boys is raw. This book hits right on the wrongful realities being brought up by movements, such as the Black Lives Matter and Me Too Movements, and the book cries for justice of all lives, no matter the race. Wrongful realities that must be changed by those that are alive. Wrongful realities that cannot be changed by those whose lives who have taken away from this world too soon. Change comes from those who are living. It is up to us to bring the change.

 

I would absolutely recommend the book, Ghost Boys. But, I would recommend that parents co-read and supervise as their children process everything that this book addresses. This book will spark conversations, and it absolutely should! Innocent people in our country have been killed because of conscious and unconscious racial bias and prejudice. Their lives must be remembered and honored through our transparent conversations with our children. After all, future changes will depend on our children's actions; today's changes depend on ours.

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