Ghost Boys

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement comes this novel by an African American writer whose writing has been too long delayed in reaching UK readers. In the current climate of youth, in particular black boys, dying violently on both sides of the Atlantic, this publication is all too timely. The story is narrated by Jerome who has died after being shot by a police officer who thought he was holding a gun. The opening shocks as Jerome sees his own body lying on the snowy ground. The novel alternates between sections where Jerome is a ghost, mingling with other black boys who have died violently including Emmett Till, giving the book a sense of history, and sections where he is still alive and describing the events leading up to the shooting. The use of the present tense and short sentences make this a fast-paced and gripping, as well as thought-provoking, read.

About this month's recommendations

May's Top Texts have been chosen by Ann Lazim, Literature and Library Development Manager at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. www.clpe.org.uk. Ann has been a Librarian for 40 years, advising teachers, parents and publishers about children's books. With an MA in Children's Literature, she is an expert in international children's literature, through her work at CLPE and with IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People.