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This is a hard book to read through your tears. As soon as 12-year-old Jerome is shot and killed by a white police officer in Chicago who mistakes Jerome's toy gun for a real one (but that's not the whole story -- keep reading), the tears start flowing. The parallels to the shooting of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio are explicit, although the story is historical fiction.

Jerome makes a friend at school, Carlos, who pulls out a "gun" on the school bullies who attack them in the restroom. It turns out the gun is a fake, a toy, but it looks real. Carlos offers it to Jerome to play with, run around outside his apartment on a beautiful day, pretending and having fun with his little sister outside.

It ends so badly, and at first Jerome can't make sense of it. He begins haunting Sarah, the daughter of the police officer who shot and killed him. She can see him and talk to him and they learn from each other. The ghost of Emmett Till guides Jerome on his journey to discovering how historical racism led to his death and the deaths of so many other ghost boys -- a legion killed because of prejudice and racism.

I especially loved and appreciated how the story ended.

AMB_4's rating:
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