By: Jewell Parker Rhodes BUY BOOK HERE
“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 towards 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 socio-political 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.
"A shadow. Then, another. And another. Another and another. Hundreds, thousands of ghost boys standing, ever still, looking up, through the window into our souls. Do I have a soul still? 'I don't understand?' 'These are your... our people.' 'Black boys,' Sarah whispers, then clamps her hand over her mouth... I turn from him and Sarah. I look down. Hundreds and hundreds of shadow boys. A heart-wrenching crew. Army strong. No, zombie apocalypse strong. Standing on lawns, in the streets, their faces raised to me. All children, except one, grow up."