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I Am Alfonso Jones

by Tony Medina, John Jennings (Illustrator), Stacey Robinson (Illustrator)

Other authors: Bryan Stevenson (Foreword)

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19014109,996 (4.03)None
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.

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I am buying this for my high school library. We need it. We need to read this perspective. ( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
This is a young adult fiction story about an all true real and ugly fact of life in the US in 2020: police shooting of unarmed Black men. The Black man in this story is Alfonso Jones, a boy of just 15 years who is loved by family and friends, attends a private school for the gifted, and is awaiting the release of his dad from prison. His dad is being released because he was found innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for. While shopping for a new suit with a friend, Alfonso Jones is shoot and killed by an off-duty officer. When Jones re-appears, he is on a ghost train with other ghosts of people killed in police shootings; these ghosts help Jones see what is happening in his name, see how his family and friends grieve his loss, and sees how the officer is living after the shooting. Interspersed with the main narrative is snippets of Hamlet, a play I can't quite get away from no matter how hard I try. Anyway, I thought the book was a timely conversation starter for young readers to learn more about the issue of police extrajudicial killings. The sad fact is that the book was published in 2017, when it was also a timely conversation starter for young people. One of the many reasons why the US society is in the shit it is today - we haven't learned/changed a damn thing. The foreword by Bryan Stevenson was the reason I picked this book up from the library shelf. ( )
  teastitchread | Aug 16, 2020 |
A good story of an African American boy who was shot and killed by a police officer who mistook a coat hanger for a gun and the events that occur in his neighborhood because of it. It definitely demonstrates how others are affected and how a crowd mindset results from these events. The illustrations were only in black and white and I thought distracted from the story because I couldn’t keep the characters straight despite the cast list in the beginning. Also, a lot of the dialogue seems to be in rap or mimicking Shakespeare because the students in the story are putting on Hamlet, so it gets confusing. Two stars overall. ( )
  lispylibrarian | Dec 11, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This graphic novel should become required reading. It shows how police violence against a black teen affects his family, friends, and the community as a whole. The artwork is striking and adds impact to an already emotionally charged work.
  GondorGirl | Mar 9, 2019 |
I wanted to like this book because of the important subject matter, but I just could not warm up to the writing or the art.

The story flow seemed unnecessarily jumbled and vague on certain key points. A coat hanger kept appearing and disappearing in the scenes that showed the shooting that is central to the book. Was it there or wasn't it? Was the kid running or standing still? Was this supposed to make us feel that the events were perceived differently by different people or expose that the artist had no idea what was going on in the scene either?

A hip-hop version of Hamlet and some poetry are shoehorned in. They weren't bad, but didn't add much at best and were slightly distracting at worst.

Mostly, this book has the misfortune of being read after [b:The Hate U Give|32075671|The Hate U Give|Angie Thomas|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476284759s/32075671.jpg|49638190], and I cannot help but compare the two and judge this one the much lesser. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tony Medinaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jennings, JohnIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, StaceyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, BryanForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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.

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