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Do your kids like reading about historical fiction? Check out this novel at PMPL

As Black History Month and the birthday of a great Civil Rights Activist are upon us, I decided to read one of the newest novels on our shelves for juvenile readers. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is a page turner that describes a police involved shooting of a 12-year-old boy named Jerome. Jerome was playing with a toy gun in a park in Chicago when the police were called and subsequently shot and killed the young boy. In the wake of this fatal shooting, this fiction story raises questions about racial injustice, classism, and a comparison to the death of Emmett Till.

The narrator of the story is the ghost of Jerome. By the end of the story, the author brilliantly makes each character human with both faults and strengths that most people are struggling with today.

The chapters jump between the trial of the police officer and how the Jerome’s family and friends are reacting to the sudden death of the boy which can feel a little peculiar at first but the difference in settings is necessary to tell the complete story. This story makes the reader question how they can change the world for the better and how to stop the same circumstances from happening again. Ghost Boys pushes the reader to see people as people and not a product of their color, creed, or socio-economic status.

A large print copy of Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is available in the youth department of the Pocono Mountain Public Library in the New Book section. The story is suggested for up and coming social justice warriors or children that are interested in the historical fiction between the ages of 8 and 12. If your child has questions about racism or social injustice, I would suggest you point them in the direction of this novel!

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