Parents' Guide to

Hey, Kiddo

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Big-hearted memoir of rocky childhood with addicted mom.

Hey, Kiddo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+

Brutally Honest Story of the authors troublesome childhood

I wasn't sure if I would like this story and I ended up loving it. An excellent book about the author's experiences as a child to an addict growing up in a dysfunctional family. It has a positive ending and shows that anyone can overcome a tough beginning. I would recommend having honest open discussions with your youth who is reading this. You could even read it together. There is mild swearing and sexual references but they fit with his telling of the story. He includes artifacts from his youth (letters, pictures etc) that really enhance the story.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 15+

Trigger book

I think it has a wonderful message however I feel like it is an emotional trigger book. If any child has experience these trama is very graphic. I wouldn't let my littles read it. However my 15yo did read it and loved it.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (10):

This graphic novel memoir doesn't candy-coat the heartrending pain of growing up with an addicted mom, but it's shot through with an infectious generosity of spirit and hope. Hey, Kiddo helps us see events through Jarrett's young eyes. His unreliable mom makes a series of "terrible decisions. Decisions that would forever alter our relationship as mother and son." Since much of the pain's conveyed through art, in busy panels, readers can selectively absorb it as they're emotionally ready. For instance, a segment involving his mom's druggie friends is pictured but not described.

Krosoczka balances the grit with warmth and gratitude for the gifts he was given. His grandparents, though hard-drinking, actively and enthusiastically encouraged his talent, as did caring, influential teachers and mentors. And the art's studded with poignant personal memorabilia, including Jarrett's early comics and art, lovingly saved by his grandparents -- a very telling detail.

Book Details

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