New Kid by 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 award winning graphic novel is a humorous and moving graphic novel told in attention-grabbing style.  The illustrations effectively portray the emotional upheaval and challenges Jordan faces, both at his new school and the alienation he now feels in his own neighborhood.

I was surprised at the emotional journey this book took me on and I felt for Jordan every time he was mistaken for a different black student and when teachers react defensively when he makes observations about the casual racism he experiences.

This is a must-read book for students and adults alike – whether you are the ‘new kid’ finding your way in a new school or whether you just need a reminder about the ingrained inequalities in our society.



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