New Kidby Jerry Craft Published 05 Feb 2019
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Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.
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?
"New Kid" Reviews
This is a must have in all upper elementary and above classrooms. This book is packed with bias and micro aggressions that are important for kids to read and understand -especially kids that live in areas with little to no racial diversity. I cannot wait to hand this off to my students and see what they think.
This is going to be THE most talked about graphic novel in the new year. This is a story that needs to be read and then talked about. Every single chapter had me shaking my head yes. Swipe right to see just two pages of serious truth that readers and teachers alike need to be reading. Out February 2019
NEW KID is fun and funny at the same time it portrays serious "fitting in at school" issues. Mega kid-appeal!
There's so much like to like about NEW KID. The terrific art, supplemented by main character Jordan's own comic journal-style observations. The journey through navigating a new school, new friendships, and new conflicts. The theme of not judging a book by its cover woven throughout. And I found the perspective of a Black kid in an environment that's not used to Blackness, where teachers constantly confuse you with That Other Black Kid They Remember and push critically-acclaimed stories of Black Struggle™ off on you, and only you, to be particularly relatable. But I was not prepared for how FUNNY the story is! Craft employs visual gags to heighten Jordan's comical observations on his new school, playing soccer for the first time, quality time with his grandfather, and his keen desire for a growth spurt. Craft even sneaks humor into the chapter breaks. This graphic novel is a hefty 250 pages which offers plenty of story to read and re-read.
Necessary graphic novel that deals with the topic of racism in middle school. I'll be curious to hear what my students notice and the conversations that will come because of the reading.
An outstanding middle grade graphic novel about not only being the new kid in a new school, but about the ways privilege, bias, and racism -- both overt and subtle -- play out. Jordan attends a wealthy school on financial aid and is one of the few kids of color there; he experiences incredible micro and macro aggressions, and as a light skinned black boy, he sees racism play out in a variety of horrifying ways.
The art in this is fantastic, and Craft imbues so much pop culture in this book in fun and funny ways. Each chapter references a movie in some capacity and puts Jordan into it (The Hunger Games and West Side Story and Fight Club, etc). Interspersed throughout the narrative are panels from Jordan's own art, which showcase more of his internal experience than we're privy to otherwise; he's an artist and we get to see that play out.
One of the most moving moments in the story is when Jordan is forced to sit with "the weird puppet girl" and finally learns why it is she's always wearing a weird puppet and doing weird things. He has a reckoning about his own judgements and biases, and he uses this as an opportunity to destigmatize her experiences. He also learns to stand up and be a leader, calling out injustices where he sees them, even when it makes him sick to do so.
A smart book for the middle grade set and one that'll resonate deeply with kids of color who see themselves in Jordan and for white kids who'll see themselves in those positions of privilege. There's also a lot of spot-on commentary here about financial privilege, on gifting, and on judgement of those who are in the haves and those who are in the have nots.
Hand to fans of Raina Telgemeier or Gene Luen Yang.