First, Ghost Boys does seem like a fairly balanced look how the shooting of Jerome, a 12-year-old boy, by a white police officer effects not only Jerome’s family, but the officer and his family as well. Perhaps, it is tilted a little more in Jerome’s favor, but that is to be expected.
Second, this will bring up the feelings and thoughts we have on the subjects presented: Someone at the hearing yells, “Black Lives Matters.” And the father of Jerome is going to sue the officer. And the daughter of the officer is very “white” (good family, home, neighborhood). These will bring out thoughts of how accurate are these images and situations? Why do we have to say, “Black lives matter” why can we not say, “life matters?” Is Carlos, Jerome’s friend, at blame for his role in the events? Is it realistic how Jerome’s grandmother reacts to Carlos? Is the police officer in the wrong? Is the ending the best possible one for the current situation?
Finally, Jewell Parker Rhodes covers a lot in a few hundred pages. It is mostly aimed at the 10 to 14-year-old range, but slightly older could read it or you could read it with a strong nine-year-old. I would not to give it to even a stronger reader under 10 just because it does talk about death of not only Jerome today but of Emmet Till in 1955. This tie in to Till and other real-life events brings a fictional story to life. This shows how things have and have not changed and makes for an interesting historical twist.