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Book of the Week 11/21: New Kid by Jerry Craft

This week I read the heartfelt and hilarious graphic novel New Kid by Jerry Craft. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and was thrilled when it was the one I landed upon for Book of the Week!

Jordan Banks is a seventh grader who is forced by his parents to attend an elite school far from his own neighborhood. As a Black kid from Washington Heights in a sea of ultra-rich white peers, Jordan is unsure of how to fit in at Riverdale Academy Day School. Through Jordan’s experiences, Craft portrays some of the struggles students from marginalized communities face in spaces that are lacking in diversity. When Jordan meets Drew, another Black student in his class, they bond over their shared struggles with daily microaggressions and bullying. As the school year passes by, we meet a whole cast of unique characters who each have their own concerns about where they belong within the school. Through colorful and imaginative panels, we follow Jordan’s journey of making friends, fitting in, and finding himself along the way.

I really enjoyed this book! I loved how Craft deftly discussed the struggles Jordan went through at his new school while also making readers laugh. Jordan’s voice is engaging and real, and from the first page I felt like I was reading about a friend. Though this book was written with kids around grades 5-9 in mind, it is a valuable addition to anyone’s to-be-read list. I wholeheartedly recommend folks pick up a copy from the Cloquet Public Library today!

P.S. I am soooo going to grab the sequel Class Act right after I finish posting this review!

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