New Kid

New Kid

Graphic Novel - 2019
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Baker & Taylor
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.


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!

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Copyright Date: 2019
ISBN: 9780062691194
Branch Call Number: J CRA 2019-02
Characteristics: 249 pages : chiefly colour illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Callahan, Jim - Colorist


From Library Staff

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. Sugges... Read More »

From the critics

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OPL_KIDS Sep 12, 2020

New Kid is an interesting and enlightening graphic novel by Jerry Craft. The illustrations are fun and bring an extra bit of humor to the book. The story has an abundance of character development, making this book ideal for children who love a character driven plot. It does seem to lack excitement, so adventure lovers may wish to choose another option. This graphic novel's greatest value is that it subtly teaches the reader about racial bias and micro-aggressions hidden inside an entertaining story. When you also consider that graphic novels are often more appealing to reluctant readers, this book becomes an excellent option for a wide variety of readers with a variety of interests.

Reviewed by Miss Allison

IndyPL_SteveB Jun 27, 2020

Winner of 2020 Newbery Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Award for children’s literature. This is the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Award, and it’s a good one.

I think this will be popular with many children age 10-14, with perhaps added appeal for African-American boys – although the audience is certainly not limited to them. Most children understand the problems of going to a new school, of finding your place in the school hierarchy, of differences in social class, of making friends, of the daily fear of embarrassment that you will say something dumb in school.

Jordan Banks is changing schools for 7th grade. His parents have gotten him into an exclusive private school where he will be one of the few black students. Jordan is a talented cartoonist and wants to go to art school instead. He has to navigate the expectations of being around rich kids (even one of the other black students has a CEO father and vacations in Tuscany), of mildly racist and indifferent teachers who can’t remember which black kid is which and who assume that the Black kids must be the aggressors in any conflict; and mildly racist classmates who assume that all the Black kids are on financial assistance, love fried chicken, and are star athletes.

There is a lot of humor but also much wisdom that I think will stick with the children who read this. One of the major benefits of reading is to see the world through someone else’s eyes, and this completely succeeds at that.

Hillsboro_RobP Jun 25, 2020

A riveting read and masterclass in microaggressions, this middle-grade graphic novel will have readers identifying with familiar feelings of being the outsider, while opening eyes to the complexities of racial identity in some brilliant ways. A must-read for teachers and kids alike.

Jun 11, 2020

Loved it! I listened to the audiobook as I read along in the ebook.

Jun 06, 2020

This middle-grade graphic novel has everything: fantastic illustrations, lovable characters, life lessons, and the navigation between two worlds as he moves from a school in his neighborhood to a predominately white private school full of rich kids and microaggressions.

VaughanPLDianeB May 28, 2020

I enjoyed this graphic novel. It's a fairly realistic look at the trials and tribulations of being the new kid in school. It also tackled issues of racial bias and preconceptions without solving every issue in a neat and tidy bow. Peer interactions, as well as parent~child relationships, were also highlighted in a sensitive and believable way. There were funny moments too. All in all, a good read!

ArapahoeKati May 11, 2020

This is a great graphic novel but it also tries to tackle a lot (race, poverty, education) and then each theme doesn't get all the attention it deserves. Absolutely worth a read though! My favorite quote was, "Never comfort someone with a lie."

May 07, 2020

Jordan loves to draw. But instead of starting art school (like he wanted) he's starting a fancy private school where he's not sure how he will fit in. His new school is the prestigious Riverdale Academy, where many of the students are part of a legacy and from very wealthy families. Jordan is from Washington Heights and is on a scholarship. He is also one of the few students of color who attends the school and has to deal with microaggressions not only from students, but staff as well. Will Jordan be able to navigate his new school and balance new friendships with his old ones?

This book won the Newbery Award this year and it's not difficult to see why! Some of my favorite parts are when Jordan draws his experiences himself (almost like a diary) and we get a glimpse into his world. Jordan also comes off as a real kid--he's worried about how he's going to be perceived by his old friends in the neighborhood when he starts going to his new school, he's worried about fitting in, he's worried about his grades, etc. I am excited to see what comes next from the author!

Greene_CaitlinW May 01, 2020

Starting at a new school is always a challenge, but for Jordan, it is doubly hard. Not only is he attending an elite prep school on a scholarship, but he'll also be one of the few kids of color at his new school. Jordan easily hits his stride; he makes friends, tries out for sports, and develops his love of drawing. However, he also documents his experiences with implicit bias, microaggressions, and racism at his new school. Craft tackles the heavy subjects with care while maintaining a light and humorous tone.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Apr 22, 2020

A lovely middle grade graphic novel. It's lovely to see a more diverse African American representation evolve in children's literature...I'm looking forward to see where Jerry Craft takes this series!

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Greene_CaitlinW May 01, 2020

You don't have to like everyone, but you don't have to be a jerk about it, either.


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