Mock Newbery 2023 discussion

Ghost Boys
This topic is about Ghost Boys
Newbery 2019 > September Read - Ghost Boys

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 590 comments Mod
Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a very timely book for the current debates around racial profiling. Is Ghost Boys "distinguished?"

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 108 comments My review: This book is a fairly quick read about an important topic. I wasn't terribly anxious to read about this topic, as it is too painful right now, with similar events happening far too often. I don't know if it brings resolution to them or not. In a way, the book makes me feel more helpless than ever. The good things that happen are slightly unrealistic and the bad things all too common. In spite of that, I hope this book helps make things slightly better.

Following my review a commenter and I had a (to me) interesting discussion of whether the ghost should have haunted the police officer. She felt the officer himself should have been haunted, but I think, in a way, it effects him more through his daughter.

message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate | 187 comments In GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes,
Jerome is shot by a police officer who thinks a toy gun is real. His ghost then joins the throng of others, including Emmett Till, who wander the earth after similar deaths. There is little action in this book. Most of the text includes reflections about inequality, racism and unfulfilled potential.
The topic is timely, but I found it a sad read.

Leigh Anne | 3 comments I think Ghost Boys is another timely book, and I thought the connection with Emmett Till is a good. However, I thought the voice of the character seemed younger than his age. This held me back as a reader.

Barb | 35 comments Thought-provoking and moving, I felt this book may impact adults more than kids. I appreciated the book discussion prompts at the end, to help younger readers navigate the messages the author sought to convey.

Czechgirl | 214 comments I have read and enjoyed a couple of Jewell Parker Rhodes' books before this one. But this one is by far, her best. My eyes were glued to the pages. Rhodes does not tell a new story. However, she wrote it like I have never heard prejudice killings before. I love the "Ghost Boys" aspect of the story. I like how she switches from the alive Jerome to the dead Jerome point-of-view. This book is very Newbery worthy!

Shari | 86 comments Another book addressing the issue of police officers killing African American boys and men. The balance of stark realism and fantasy is masterful. I wonder if children will like. So far, FRONT DESK still gets my vote, but GHOST BOYS should get a nod.

message 8: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Nicole (a_nicole) | 2 comments LauraW wrote: "My review: This book is a fairly quick read about an important topic. I wasn't terribly anxious to read about this topic, as it is too painful right now, with similar events happening far too often..."

In response to the idea of the police officer being visited - I think if your perspective is that Jerome and Emmett were "haunting" Sarah (which has a very negative connotation), it would be unfair. However, I think the assumption is that the police officer's fear and prejudice were too big to be changed. Sarah was younger and could reason more about how to change things for the next generation.
Kids are supposed to read this, so I think the author was trying to present a foil that would more closely match a kid's perspective on the right/wrong discussion.

Karen Kline (karenkline) | 12 comments This is a brave book. It's just right for a middle grade read aloud to get a class discussion on race started. I found the characters believable with just enough good and bad to make them seem real. I'm excited to see if this book gets the accolades it deserves.

I will definitely recommend it to students and teachers at my middle school.

message 10: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (booknerd216) | 13 comments I can’t even begin to describe the emotions this book took me through. I loved how Jewell Rhodes took us through so many cause and effects of this all too common event. I loved the ghosts boys. Sadly there’s a whole army of them. I am certainly inspired to bare witness (please read author’s notes) and I hope kids will be inspired to do the same. Racism, prejudiced, bullying, socioeconomic status... the list goes on.

Marie | 9 comments Mod
I enjoyed this book but I didn't love it. I did appreciate that it was written more on a child's level (compared to, say, The Hate U Give) to bring light to an important issue. My children are mixed race (African American and Caucasian) and I would be comfortable with my 12 year old daughter reading this one and would be a good way to teach and start a discussion. Also appreciated the discussion questions at the end.

Shella | 200 comments I think the disjointed writing style takes this one out as a contender. While this is an important topic- I don't think encouraging blanket distrust toward any group of people will help us move forward to the society we all desire. Where was the discussion about gangs and drugs etc. that plague the communities like the one depicted in this story?

Brenda | 57 comments I am right in the middle of this book and can’t stop sobbing. What a powerful story. I am hoping for some light, but it may not come.

back to top

unread topics | mark unread

Books mentioned in this topic

Ghost Boys (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Jewell Parker Rhodes (other topics)