Ghost Boys Book Review by Enehita Atoe

Ghost boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Introduction to the story

So, it starts off with a background story on how Jerome was killed by Sarah’s Dad. This gives an insight to the reader that something mischievous and suspicious is going on.


Main Characters-Jerome Rogers. Jerome is a Twelve-year-old who doesn’t get into any trouble. He goes to school. He does his homework. He takes care of his little sister.

Villain-Sarah’s Dad. Officer Moore is the officer who purposely kills Jerome because he was black. 

Second Character-Emmett Till. Emmett Till is a man who is also a ghost and helps Jerome on his Journey.

Second Character-Sarah Moore. Sarah Moore is little girl who sets up a website for black kids who have been murdered by white Officers.


Set in an impoverished Chicago neighbourhood, this sombre story blends history with current events. Jerome Rogers, a black 12-year-old, is playing outside with a toy gun when he is shot and killed by a white policeman who views him as a threat. It keeps on switching from Dead to Alive.


Beginning-In Chicago, a white police officer shoots and kills black 12-year-old Jerome, mistaking a toy gun the child is playing with for a real one. As a ghost, young Jerome witnesses the aftermath of his death, including scenes with his family, the police and the media. Because of this, Moore goes to court because of Jerome’s death.

Middle– As A result of this, Officer Moore had to go to court while Sarah was working on an investigation to find out the real reason on why Jerome died.

End– Feeling Guilty, Officer Moore stepped down and told his daughter, Sarah, that he lied about him seeing Jerome as a big black figure and mistaking a “toy gun” for a real gun. On the other hand Carlos (his friend) and Kim Rogers (His sister) were celebrating Jerome on his salutation to the world on the day of the dead.

The Stories Equilibrium

The novel’s premise is that ghosts murdered because of racism have to tell their tale to the living. “Only the living can make the world better.” In the novel, I imagine hundreds of ghost boys inspired by Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, etc.

Conflict– Officer Moore sparks an idea in Emmett’s, Jerome’s and Sarah’s head. Sarah wanted to make a website about Jerome’s and Emmett’s death. Meanwhile in court, Officer Moore is lying about Jerome being a Black, dark figure.

Resolution– Sarah’s Website takes off and people are fighting for Civil rights. Eventually, Officer Moore gets found out and Sarah is devasted.


The novel’s message is hopeful – “Can’t undo wrong. Can only do our best to make things right.” Children as well as adults can change —“be the change” — in how they treat and see people.


Antagonist-Officer Moore says that “Jerome was big and scary, he was buff and muscular, could’ve passed for a twenty five year old man.” When, he says this he is saying that a scrawny little boy was so big and scary because he is black. This indicates that he lies.

Protagonist-Jerome can be angry because it says that if he is still alive, “He’d be boiling with anger”. I say was because Jerome is deceased. The novel flips back and forth to periods when Jerome was alive and when he died. Jerome was being bullied in school but he was not a small boy.


Often in harrowing terms, Ghost Boys brings litany of names of black kids and teens killed by white adults over centuries, defining racial prejudice and institutionalized racism as root cause of each killing.


I feel traumatised. The logic in that story is not really possible because if you die, your body rots away.

I enjoyed my book!!!

Thank You!!!!

Like this book- you can purchase the book here.