Massive congratulations to Jerry Craft for winning the Newbery for New Kid! A graphic novel winning the medal! We are kind of living through a Golden Age of children's fiction, aren't we? It's good to stop every once in a while to just look around and actually notice It's the whole point of awards.⠀⠀New Kid follows Jordan Banks, a twelve year old kid about to start the seventh grade A budding cartoonist, Jordan wishes for nothing than to go to art school, but his parents, wishing him to have better opportunities than they had, decide to send him to a affluent school A prestigious private school, to be exact A school where Jordan is one of the few kids of color Being the new kid is hard enough, but this, in addition to coming from a modest background than most of his peers, means dealing with a bunch of unwelcome challenges — not least of which being general ignorance and racism — as Jordan just tries to go about his days, trying to figure things out.⠀⠀I really enjoyed New Kid While I was not a huge fan of the artwork itself, the story and the writing definitely won me over I really loved — and admired — how it maintained a light and fun tone while also exploring some heavy themes It's a deceptively casual book in this way There are depictions of class difference, of code switching as a person of color, of casual racism and microaggressions, of privilege and lack thereof — and they are all portrayed in the same easy going manner Underneath this layer of mellow, though, there's a current of frustration and exasperation that runs all the way through, which makes this casual story lose none of its pointed poignancy Because being a person of color in this world sometimes means keeping your cool even during the most uncomfortable of times, even if you're a child.⠀⠀But these weighty subjects don't make up the whole of the story Just as they don't make up the lives of the kids who have to deal with them One of the central themes in New Kid has to do with Jordan's frustration with books about kids of color being extremely limited in scope: books about white kids can be about anything and still expected to be relatable; books about black kids can only be about Serious Issues and are expected to be read only by black kids Books about white kids can be fun; books about black kids have to be severe and gritty Jordan thinks this is extremely unfair nonsense Because, yes, while kids like him may have to deal with complicated situations than most others — at the end of the day they're also just kids Normal and goofy and beautiful and awkward and nerdy and clever kids who would love to do nothing than just live and have fun and be happy and to see other kids like them doing likewise This doesn't mean that books about Serious Issues are not important, only that reality is far complex, and stories about said reality should reflect it accordingly Because representation is important This is what Jerry Craft does with New Kid, and does it elegantly It's my favorite aspect of this story.⠀It's also a book that's just funny and clever, which is what instantly hooks you Jordan and his group of friends are instantly likeable and relatable The art, as I said, wasn't my favorite, but Craft's storytelling is clear and concise, and the book has great pacing because of it.⠀ ⠀It's another one of those books I wish I could give to my younger self Which is something I often find myself saying about a lot of the kid's books I've recently read I think that's an inevitable thought to have, though, as someone who spent their childhood reading nothing much at all, after reading a particularly great children's book There's a sense of deprivation — of having missed out — and wanting to go back and fix that It's bittersweet, but in a positive way, you know?⠀⠀I digress ⠀⠀New Kid is a fine book And it deserved to win the Newbery And I can't wait to see what that means for the future of graphic novels and children's fiction in general. Jordan Banks is the new kid at one of the best private schools in the state that offers a wealth of academic and extra curricular opportunities and experiences for its students and while its prestige is praiseworthy, it is woefully lacking in diversity Jordan is one of a small number of students of color at the school but just like every other twelve year old middle school student has to navigate making new friends, avoiding awkward crushes, getting good grades, and making time to do what he loves most drawing cartoons His art is embedded throughout the text and gives the reader an inside look at Jordan’s thoughts on well, just about everything His drawings are informative, oftentimes laugh out loud hilarious, and honest.There’s a gaping void as it concerns the representation of African American youths in books in general across all genres but especially in graphic novels Jerry Craft expertly enters into this space and gifts us with New Kid It is a relevant read A cool, down to earth middle school story for everyone I want to hug this book! I want to read it over and over and then wrap it up and give a copy to every child I know No doubt that Jerry Craft upholds his mission to “write the books he wishes he had when he was a kid” because this is the sort of book I wish I’d had as a child No offense to The Baby Sitters Club series from back in my day, but what about books with characters that look like me and share in my experiences? I would have loved a book like this!I would recommend this book for intermediate elementary students (4th 5th grade), middle school and high school too I honestly think it will have a wide range of interest much like books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet, Sisters, and Drama that are read from elementary school straight through high school. has description Kids loved this The art work, the microaggressions, the freezing sports moments, the Mean Streets of Uptown book truth this story contains so much truth and heart and will stick with me for awhile This is a must have for middle school shelves! I am a classroom teacher who always buys the Newbery and Caldecott winners the moment they are announced I was excited to have a new graphic novel in the classroom However, this book is not as big of a hit as I had hoped Here is a review written by one of my students:This book is a maybe for me This book did not have any crazy exciting stuff That's kindof what I look for in a book The plot was quite slow I did like the main character I would probably recommend this book to people who are teenagers; a lot of older people think that books with slow plots are much better than a lot of younger kids think they are I am 8. I bought this book for my 7th grade boy and he could not put it down, reading it in one sitting The next day his 3rd grader sister took the book and she couldn't stop reading it I wanted to see what the fuss was about so I took the book next and I ended up staying up late to read the whole thing My son then brought the book to show his Language Arts teacher and she loved it so much she made New Kid the book of the month for the class It really is that amazing I hope that the author writes another book in the series because we all want to know what happens next for Jordan Banks. Usually I am not a big fan of comic books/graphic novels but since my son's school invited the author, just decided to get a copy for my son I am glad I did Story was well plotted very realistically and emotionally No extream feelings or pampering either about the school system Main characters are very reasonable to face the challenges but not so much super heroic Very well balanced Recommend this book to any one from 4th 7th and I am pretty sure even older kids will enjoy very strict mom of 12 and 9 y/o. My grandson liked it a lot. 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 nothingthan 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!