Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Kid by Jerry Craft

 A graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real.

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 is 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. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Hardcover, 256 pages

Published February 5, 2019 
by Quill Tree Books
4/5 stars

I don't read graphic novels often but the ones that I have tend to pack a punch.  New Kid is the 2020 John Newbery Medal Winner, amongst other awards. 

This middle grade novel is one year in the life of Jordan Banks. Sent to a posh private school where he really doesn't want to go.  It is a witty and authentic look at the struggles Jordan faces as he adapts and tries to fit in.  There are a small number of minorities also attending RADS (Riverdale Academy Day School) where prejudices are showcased, both classmates and faculty.

New Kid is a well written novel, with great illustrations. With its targeted younger audience this is a poignant story opening the door for discussion and awareness.

This book is part of my 2022 Reading Off My Shelf challenge (#3) and also my reading John Newbery Medal Winners Challenge.

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