I Am Alfonso Jones

I Am Alfonso Jones

Graphic Novel - 2017
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The ghost of fifteen-year-old Alfonso Jones travels in a New York subway car full of the living and the dead, watching his family and friends fight for justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer while buying a suit in a Midtown department store.
Publisher: New York : Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books Inc. [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781620142639
Branch Call Number: YA 741.5973 M4689i 2017
Characteristics: 167 pages : chiefly illustrated ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Killed by a off-duty police officer while shopping, the ghost of 15 year old Alfonso travels the subway, watching his friends and family fight for justice.

Alfonso Jones, killed by a police officer who thought he had a weapon, looks on from the afterlife as his community grieves.

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Nov 23, 2020

Amazingly cool!

AlishaH_KCMO Jun 09, 2020

Trigger Warnings: Police Brutality, Racism, gunshot wounds, death

I Am Alfonso Jones is a graphic novel following a black, fifteen year old boy who is shot and killed by a mall security guard who mistakes a hanger for a gun Alfonso is holding while he shops for his first suit. The novel follows Alfonso onto a train of the afterlife guided by victims of police brutality. Alfonso watches as his family and friends deal with their grief and those fighting for justice.

This graphic novel has a great message about social injustice and the need for change. It's powerful.

The novel itself tends to skip around a bit. There's many chapters and some are only a page long. That's really the only way you can keep up with either the history jumps, flashbacks, or current events.

The art itself was well done but sometimes hard to follow. So much would be happening on the page it was sometimes hard to keep up with the narrative.

ArapahoeElia Jun 05, 2019

Raw and lucid storytelling about all of the heartbreaking violence and prejudice that systematic structures need to address as a whole society. Alfonso's journey digs into all of the layers as he explores them after death. There is no clear answer to the larger picture but small slivers of hope and faith that when justice is served there will be peace.

ArapahoeLesley Jul 06, 2018

This is a very creative and effective graphic novel that looks at the wrongful death of many young African Americans by the police. Through the eyes of Alfonso Jones we see too many tragic stories. It took me a while until I could get the structure down, it seemed very jumbled at first.

May 23, 2018

Told in graphic novel format, Alfonso Jones, a young African American boy with heartbreaking promise, observes with despair and frustration the traumatic effects his wrongful murder has on his friends, family and community. As I read this book while simultaneously reading <i>The Civitas Anthology of African American Slave Narratives</i>, I can't help but wonder -- à la the ancient Greeks -- what is justice? And is justice to be found in the 21st century, or is it only theoretical?

I received this ARC via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

LPL_EricaS May 04, 2018

Alfonso Jones is a high school student at a private art academy in a New York City borough. He plays the trumpet, gets good grades, and is about to be in a hip hop version of the play of Hamlet. He's also celebrating his father's release from prison after being incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Everything is going great for this teenager until he goes to buy his first suit at a local department store. Suddenly and without warning Alfonso is shot multiple times by an white off-duty police officer who mistakes the suit hanger in Alfonso’s hand with a gun. Now Alfonso rides a ghost train as the story of his past and present whirl by him. There are no cut and dry answers in the graphic novel about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. The ghost train keeps rushing through the tunnels unfortunately picking up more passengers along the way. This book has been called “painfully important” and it will promote needed discussions on a very hard topic.

Mar 24, 2018

Dialogue good but dense. Chapters too short. Feels like heavy handed propaganda.

JCLChrisK Jan 11, 2018

There's a good story in here somewhere, but I had trouble finding it. The narration is scattershot, jumbled, and preachy. There is both too much text for a graphic novel and not enough text to provide context or explanation for everything Medina tries to squeeze into one short book. There are much better options out there covering these same topics and themes. Those complaints aside, there still is a good story mixed into these pages. Raw and powerful and painful. One that needs to be told. One that needs to be read.


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