Hey, Kiddo

by Jarrett J Krosoczka (Author)

Hey, Kiddo
Reading Level: 8th − 9th Grade

A National Book Award Finalist!

In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is.

Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along. Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.

Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 7 Up--In this intimate graphic memoir, Krosoczka looks back on his childhood and adolescence. His mother was a heroin addict, who was incarcerated or in rehab for much of his young life, and his father wasn't around--until Krosoczka was in the sixth grade, he didn't even know the man's first name. The author/illustrator was raised by his loving but often amusingly coarse maternal grandparents, who were well past their child-rearing days. Though growing up without his biological parents was painful, Krosoczka had a supportive network of extended family and friends, and his art became both his passion and his salvation. The visuals beautifully re-create his early memories, with fluid lines depicting the figures and hand-painted washes of gray with burnt orange highlights in the backgrounds. Borderless panels and word balloons deftly draw readers into the action. Artifacts from the Krosoczka family's past are inserted into the story, such as artwork and letters, and even the pineapple wallpaper from his grandparents' home is included between chapters. VERDICT A compelling, sometimes raw look at how addiction can affect families. A must-have, this book will empower readers, especially those who feel alone in difficult situations.--Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Jarrett J Krosoczka
Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the author-illustrator of Punk Farm, Punk Farm on Tour, Max for President, and Baghead. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780545902489
Lexile Measure
510
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Graphix
Publication date
October 20, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JNF062010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Biography
JNF062040 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Social Topics
Library of Congress categories
-
Yalsa Award for Excellence in Non-Fiction for Young Adults
Finalist 2019 - 2019

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