Book Review: Ghost Boys, by Jewell Parker Rhodes *****
Wow! This book has been on my 'to be read' list for a while, and last night I picked it up and read the first few chapters before going to sleep. As soon as I woke, the book was back in my hands. It had to be read.
Rhodes has done an outstanding job of combining current social injustices with the historical importance of Emmett Till's story (and the story of so many other murdered 'ghost boys'). Though I am familiar with the horror of Till's murder in 1955 Mississippi, the power of connecting Jerome's new ghost with hundreds of murdered ghost boys, the daughter of the officer, and his living relatives brought it all to new heights.
The changing perspective of 'Dead' and 'Alive' was a punch in the gut, completely brilliant, and necessary. I'm sure that my own personal story made this aspect especially meaningful.
Everyone needs to read this book. It is a must for all teachers of middle and high school students, and will be one of the texts I am sure to mention when I visit schools. It reads quickly, but should be read again and again, used as a reference and resource and a springboard for further reading.
Well done, Jewell Parker Rhodes!