The Definitive Guide to

New Kid

Written and illustrated by Jerry Craft
Published by Quill Tree Books
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.1 / 5.0
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Target Age
Book Type

What's New Kid About

Publisher Summary

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?

What Kind of Book is New Kid

Video Gallery

Quotes from New Kid

  • "Never comfort someone with a lie."
  • "I wish I was Batman! Not just for the cool reasons. Or the fact that he's rich. I wish I was Batman so that I could fit in anywhere! One minute he's at a board meeting. And the next, he's in the most dangerous part of town. Completely fearless! . . . Unlike me, Batman is always in control of EVERYTHING! And I really love how Batman always stands up for the little guys."
  • "It took me a few days to realize that Gran'pa's story was a metaphor. . . . So I decided to see if General Tso's chicken could get along with pepper steak."

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • This story offers multiple opportunities to discuss weighty matters—explicit racism, systemic racism, social classes, preconceived stereotypes, misunderstandings, lack of self-esteem, and more. As a graphic novel, its read time is short, so consider taking time to have discussions about these important topics along the way as they arise and revisiting them and their resolution at the end of the story.

  • Some important points in the story are insightfully conveyed by the illustrations as they play out in the text. For example, Jordan expects he and Maury will have a lot in common. But as they visit, they realize they don’t. At the same moment, Craft depicts them standing on two separate worlds. What point does this emphasize? Where else did you notice the illustrations telling part of the story?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Husband. Father. Children's Book Critic Extraordinaire:)

I liked the story’s lessons about not judging people based on stereotypes but instead getting to know them and the unifying impact of serving others.

Mom of Boys
Three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.

I read this book to my five and seven year olds. They are still innocent to the prejudices of the world. They see all people with equality and don’t understand why we would look down on others because of skin color. I love this about children and want to keep them that way as long as possible so I did skip over a few racial comments that might have tainted their view. All three of us really enjoyed reading this book. It showed insecurities that each of the characters had and portrayed racism from each of their points of view. It had me laughing and feeling so grateful for good kids, good choices and good friends.

Book Lists That Include New Kid

Book Topics › Top 10+ Books To Read in 2020
Top 10+ Children's Books To Read in 2020
Book Topics › art
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Who Wrote New Kid

author & illustrator
Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft is an author-illustrator who has worked on numerous books for young readers. Jerry created Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards and cofounded the Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and lives in Connecticut.

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What Has Jerry Craft Said About New Kid

  • On his inspiration for New Kid

    “More than anything, I wanted to give 10-year-old Jerry Craft a book he could read and say was his own. That was probably the reason I was not a reader until I was an adult. The things I had to read in school couldn’t have been further from my life. Or if it was someone who looked like me, it couldn’t be further from the life I wanted to live when I got older.”

Jerry Craft's Book Dedication

To all the Jordan Bankses of the world. To my family, Jay, Aren, and Autier. thank you for making me a better person. Thanks to my agent, Judy Hansen, my editor Andrew Eliopulos, and the team at HarperCollins for embracing my vision. Thanks to Marva Allen, Pam Allyn, Debra Lakow Dorfman, David Saylor, Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Andrea Colvin for inspiring me along the way. And last but not least, thanks to Barbara Slate, Jim Keefe, Ray Billingsley, M’shindo Kuumba, Eric Velasquez, Danni Ai, and Jennifer Crute for making me a better artist.

What Do Critics Say About New Kid

  • Gretchen Hardin - The School Library Journal

    “Jordan’s black-and-white notebook drawings are the highlight of this work, combining effective social commentary with the protagonist’s humorous voice.”

    Read full review >>
  • Kirkus Reviews

    “Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance.” (starred review)

    Read full review >>
  • Publishers Weekly

    “This engaging story . . . captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and . . . tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space.”

    Read full review >>

Did New Kid Win Any Awards

You bet it did. Check them out below!

Who visits Jordan and shares some metaphorical advice?
  1. His friends from his old school
  2. His grandpa
  3. His mom
  4. His old teacher Mr. Norman
Take the Full Quiz!

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Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
February 5, 2019