Phantoms of Rockwood


Young Adult - General
270 Pages
Reviewed on 07/11/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J. E. Thompson grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York and attended Bushwick High School. The sixties in Brooklyn was an era that had a personality, a feel, and a life-force that changed a generation. Mr. Thompson felt this energy and experienced these fires of social change.

After high school, Mr. Thompson spent the next four years riding the "A" train to Harlem, in upper Manhattan, to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York. At CCNY, which was located just a few blocks from the famous Apollo Theater, Wednesday afternoons were hard on the undergraduates. The matinee performances of the major R&B groups of the times was more tempting than attending a boring college lecture. Most of the time Mr. Thompson succumbed to the temptation, but still earned a college degree from one of the best universities in the country.

At CCNY, literature instructors like Prof. Thomas Tashiro, fueled the fire in him to become a writer!

Mr. Thompson’s journey to compose a trilogy began in 1995.
The fictional journey of character Andy Michael Pilgrim from Brooklyn, to Philadelphia and finally Atlanta is now complete. In this pilgrimage, readers experience places that are filled with hopes, dreams, challenges and fears that make us human.
The novels that make up the trilogy are A Brownstone in Brookly, Philly Style and Philly Profile and Ghost of Atlanta. Mr. Thompson won the 2011 Readers Favorite National Gold Medal Award in General Fiction for Ghost of Atlanta. Mr. Thompson also received the Georgia Author of the Year nomination for Philly Style and Philly Profile, from the Georgia Writers Association, and Ghost of Atlanta.

Mr. Thompson's fourth novel, Phantoms of Rockwood, was published in 2013.
Mr. Thompson’s is working on a fifth novel which will be published in 2014: Chasing the Wind. Mr. Thompson is a former Creative Writing/Publishing Instructor at Atlanta’s Evening at Emory’s Writers Studio.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

Five talented young basketball players from Rockwood, Georgia's high school, were all killed at different times and in different ways, but they were all much too young to die. Now they have been given a chance to come back to earth for six months to play basketball once again and help out Rockwood's currently losing basketball team, the 'Purple Phantoms,' and their beloved Coach Jones who plans on leaving Rockwood at the end of the coming year. Those five phantom basketball players - Sharon James, "JB" Brown, Dan Gnais, Walter Williams, and Ivan "Pick" Brown - miss human emotions, the aroma of sweat, and the noise of cheering crowds. Sharon joins with former boyfriend Foots Wilkins, JB with Norris Nairse, Dan with Antoine Carter, Walter with Greg Reece, and Pick with Vincent Matthews to slip into their bodies, whisper words of encouragement, and coach them on to better playing.

Phantoms of Rockwood is a very well-written story. The plot flows smoothly to the story's end as the living players come to terms with what needs changing in their lives and in their game; and as Coach Jones gets to talk with the five dead players whom he still loves, misses terribly, and will defend even if it costs him his coaching job.

All characters, both living and those who have passed on, are three-dimensional and come alive as the story progresses. That the five phantom players must go back to their place in Heaven and will take another with them will be a difficult, somewhat teary ending but the addition of a sixth phantom is hinted at throughout the last chapters so that the reader will know what is coming. Phantoms of Rockwood is a brilliant book that young adults and adult readers will adore.