A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Reflects concerns of many students as they make the transition to middle school. Offers opportunity to discuss issues of race and class.
Kids should be able to pursue their interests in sports, the arts without being made uncomfortable. Students of all different backgrounds can find common interests.
Positive Role Models
Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves to draw but is sent to private school that emphasizes academics. Over course of a year, he learns to accept his classmates' foibles, develops his own method of navigating the school culture.
Violence & Scariness
Two students engage in mild pushing match.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jerry Craft's New Kid is a graphic novel that won the 2020 Newbery Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Author Award. It chronicles the year-long adjustment of an African American middle-schooler from Washington Heights to seventh grade at a private, predominantly White middle school at the opposite end of Manhattan, in the Bronx. Cartoonist Jerry Craft illustrates what it's like to be not just the new kid, but also one of the few students of color at a private school.
Is It Any Good?
The move to middle school confuses many students and has inspired many comics, but this funny and heartfelt graphic novel covers new territory. Throughout New Kid, seventh-grader Jordan Banks proves to be a sensitive and likable protagonist, eager for friendship but unsure how to fit in a school culture that deals awkwardly with issues of race and class.
Author-illustrator Jerry Craft has a vibrant, exuberant style that distinguishes each character and captures the mood of each scene. Middle-schoolers will enjoy the sometimes goofy humor and identify with a good-hearted main character struggling to define himself in a new environment.
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