New Kid (RAD #1)

by Jerry Craft (Author) Jerry Craft (Illustrator)

New Kid (RAD #1)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: RAD

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?


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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 4-7--Jordan Banks is anxious about being the new kid at Riverdale, especially since he'd rather be going to art school. He's even more nervous when he realizes that, unlike in his Washington Heights neighborhood, at Riverdale, he's one of the few kids of color. Despite some setbacks, Jordan eventually makes a few friends and chronicles his experiences in his sketch pad. This is more than a story about being the new kid--it's a complex examination of the micro- and macroaggressions that Jordan endures from classmates and teachers. He is regularly mistaken for the other black kids at school. A teacher calls another black student by the wrong name and singles him out during discussions on financial aid. Even Jordan's supportive parents don't always understand the extent of the racism he faces. This book opens doors for additional discussion. Craft's illustrations are at their best during the vibrant full-page spreads. The art loses a bit of detail during crowd scenes, but the characters' emotions are always well conveyed. Jordan's black-and-white notebook drawings are the highlight of this work, combining effective social commentary with the protagonist's humorous voice. VERDICT Highly recommended for all middle grade shelves.--Gretchen Hardin, Sterling Municipal Library, Baytown, TX

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publisher's Weekly

Starred Review

Riverdale Academy Day School is every parent's dream for their child: it has a beautiful sprawling campus, a rigorous academic curriculum, and ample extracurricular activities. It's also distinctly lacking in diversity. African-American new kid Jordan Banks would rather go to art school, but his parents have enrolled him, so he dutifully commutes to the Bronx from his home in Washington Heights, Manhattan. When he's not being confused with the few other students of color, he is being spoken to in slang, is receiving looks when financial aid is mentioned, or is forced to navigate many more micro-aggressions. Artwork by Craft interweaves the story with Jordan's sketchbook drawings, which convey the tension of existing in two markedly different places. The sketches show him being called "angry" for his observations, feeling minuscule in a cafeteria, and traveling by public transportation across different socioeconomic and racially segregated neighborhoods, changing his outfit and demeanor to fit in. This engaging story offers an authentic secondary cast and captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and the tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space. Ages 8-12. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Feb.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

★ "Award-winning author/illustrator Jerry Craft confronts elitism, microaggression, racism, socioeconomic disparity and white privilege in a familiar setting. His preteen audiences will undoubtedly recognize and empathize with Craft's memorable cast."—Shelf Awareness, (starred review)
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780062691200
Lexile Measure
320L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Quill Tree Books
Publication date
February 20, 2019
Series
RAD
BISAC categories
JUV008000 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | General
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV039120 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Prejudice & Racism
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
Individuality
Graphic novels
Comics (Graphic works)
Private schools
Newbery
Medal 2020 - 2020

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