Header Image

YA Review: New Kid by Jerry Craft

Title: New Kid
Author: Jerry Craft
Year Published: 2019

Genre: YA fiction (graphic novel)
Pages: 249
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA (NY)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan turns out to be one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Middle school's hard enough without all the unspoken rules and expectations that come with being the new kid! Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Review: I learned this morning that this book made the Kirkus short list so decided to read it and I am so glad that I did! The illustrations and story are so well done and I read the book in one sitting.
Although this story is about being the new kid, it's also about race, friendship, and growing up. What is the best way to deal with a bully? How should we respond when people in authority are being racist? These are heavy issues, but Craft's illustrations and dialogue bring home the messages without making it depressing. While I wanted to smack some of the teachers and kids, I was proud of the main characters for their words and behavior.

This is a great book for middle grade students (and older, obviously, since I really enjoyed it) and I can definitely see why the editors at Krikus have it on their short list this year.

Challenges for which this counts: 

No comments