By Jerry Craft
One morning back in April, my fourth-grade students were frantically raising their hands to enter a raffle. The prize? The chance to read a copy of New Kid by Jerry Craft. After I book talked the graphic novel, one student had ordered his own personal copy. After he finished reading, he decided to donate the book to our classroom library. By the end of the month, almost all of our fourth-grade readers had read (and loved) the book. Having loved the book myself, I was so thrilled to see it celebrated in my classroom.
New Kid is a graphic novel that follows twelve-year-old Jordan Banks as he starts attending prep school at Riverdale Academy, which seems a world away from his neighborhood of Washington Heights. Jordan navigates all the trials and tribulations of middle school, and frequently faces microagressions as he navigates what it means to be one of few African-American students at the school. Author Jerry Craft captures Jordan’s story with humor and stunning illustrations.
- “I felt like I could really relate to a lot of it.”
- “The book’s pictures came alive.”
- “I love how the author made the book inspiring because of how a boy who is sort of struggling through middle school got to get better at it and get more comfortable with his new school.”
- “It was scrumdidlyumptious!”
- “The pictures looked so realistic. The main character, at first when he moved in, he was very lonely, but then he made friends. He was talking more and his personality came out.”