Enrolled in a prestigious private school where he is one of only a few students of color, talented seventh grade artist Jordan finds himself torn between the worlds of his Washington Heights apartment home and the upscale circles of Riverdale Academy. 20,000 first printing. Simultaneous and eBook. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)
Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature!
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?
This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers, including for summer reading.
New Kid is a selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List.
Plus don't miss Jerry Craft's Class Act!
*Starred Review* Don't let the title fool you. Seventh-grader Jordan Banks may be the new kid at his upper-crust private school, but this remarkably honest and accessible story is not just about being new; it's unabashedly about race. Example after uncomfortable example hits the mark: casual assumptions about black students' families and financial status, black students being mistaken for one another, well-intentioned teachers awkwardly stumbling over language, competition over skin tones among the black students themselves. Yet it's clear that everyone has a burden to bear, from the weird girl to the blond boy who lives in a mansion, and, indeed, Jordan only learns to navigate his new world by not falling back on his own assumptions. Craft's easy-going art and ingenious use of visual metaphor loosen things up considerably, and excerpts from Jordan's sketch book provide several funny, poignant, and insightful asides. It helps keep things light and approachable even as Jordan's parents tussle over the question of what's best for their son—to follow the world's harsh rules so he can fit in or try to pave his own difficult road. A few climactic moments of resolution feel a touch too pat, but Craft's voice rings urgent and empathetic. Speaking up about the unrepresented experience of so many students makes this a necessary book, particularly for this age group. Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
Jordan, an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights, confronts both covert and overt racism in his first year at a prestigious academy, but he also develops supportive relationships with classmates of different races. Artist Jordan's sketchbook is shown in interludes throughout the engaging graphic novel's main narrative; Craft's full-color comics art is dynamic and expressive. A robust, contemporary depiction of a preteen navigating sometimes hostile spaces yet staying true to himself. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Craft's engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School (RAD). Jordan has his sights set on an art-focused high school, but his mother sees RAD as a necessary means to "open up new doors." Jordan's father is less comfortable with immersing his son in a predominantly white school and worries about RAD's lack of diversity. Those concerns are indeed merited, as Jordan confronts both covert and overt racism on a daily basis, from the code-switching necessary to manage the bus ride to and from school, to the two-dimensional tales of black sorrow available at the book fair, to being made to feel insignificant when mistaken for another student of color. Slowly, however, he begins to develop suppor-tive relationships with RAD classmates of different races. Jordan documents his thoughts, feelings, and observations in his sketchbook, shown in interludes throughout the main narrative. Craft's full-color comics art is dynamic and expressive, generously adorned by emojis, arrows, and imaginative elements such as the small winged cherubs who frequently hover over Jordan's shoulders; each chapter is introduced by a witty, foreshadowing double-page spread. This school story stands out as a robust, contemporary depiction of a preteen navigating sometimes hostile spaces yet staying true to himself thanks to friends, family, and art. patrick gall January/February 2019 p 88 Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Riverdale Academy Day School is every parent's dream for their child: it has a beautiful sprawling campus, a rigorous academic curriculum, and ample extracurricular activities. It's also distinctly lacking in diversity. African-American new kid Jordan Banks would rather go to art school, but his parents have enrolled him, so he dutifully commutes to the Bronx from his home in Washington Heights, Manhattan. When he's not being confused with the few other students of color, he is being spoken to in slang, is receiving looks when financial aid is mentioned, or is forced to navigate many more micro-aggressions. Artwork by Craft interweaves the story with Jordan's sketchbook drawings, which convey the tension of existing in two markedly different places. The sketches show him being called "angry" for his observations, feeling minuscule in a cafeteria, and traveling by public transportation across different socioeconomic and racially segregated neighborhoods, changing his outfit and demeanor to fit in. This engaging story offers an authentic secondary cast and captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and the tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space. Ages 8–12. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Feb.)
Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.